In the introduction to his new book, “A Possible Peace Between Israel and Palestine: An Insider's Account of the Geneva Initiative,” Menachem Klein notes that the only way forward in the Middle East crisis that has gripped Israeli and Palestinian societies for over 50 years is profound change on a personal level on both sides. Summing things up this past June, he writes, “It is possible to change, and positions must be changed.” This is an extraordinarily important book at this moment in time and should be read by all involved in the forthcoming Annapolis talks.
Menachem kindly wrote a comment for the dust jacket of my book “Identity, Ideology and the Future of Jerusalem” (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2006), which makes the same point in its conclusion. There I note that peace will never come unless there is a realization at the deepest personal levels that peace begins within each individual. It is a matter not so much of “who am I?”, but “who should I be?” Success will come from the triumph of outgoing concern over self-interest. It is this kind of moral choice that underlies the solution to the seemingly perennial deadlock. Only by negotiating from this vantage point can lasting peace be achieved.