During my years in the international service of Agence France-Presse (AFP), I witnessed these wars in the Middle East, the main matrix of which is this narrow land, this identity disputed by two peoples, Jewish and Palestinian. The AFP has continued to echo the collateral damage of this conflict, which fueled most of the others, whether it was the main cause or the trigger. Hostage-taking, attacks, demonstrations, the region and the world were shaken.
Once stationed in Iran, I remember the screams Marg bar Israel (“death to Israel”). Driving the Jews out of Palestine was one of the sources of the “export” of the Islamic revolution. Colleagues returning from the region reported to us the tragedies experienced by the Palestinians in the countries of exile, the instability that their massive presence caused, the clashes between them and with local forces: in Lebanon with the civil war, in Jordan, in Syria. The governments agitated the anti-Israeli struggle but, hypocrites, suppressed the Palestinian insurgents and betrayed them.
However, hope arose in 1993 with the Oslo Accords between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, paving the way for the creation of two states side by side. But soon, the hawks were back, Israeli settlers ate away at the West Bank and Gaza became an open-air prison. From the failure of the imperfect sharing of this cramped land, the entire region emerged more destabilized and fractured. Nobody wanted the Palestinians. So, what would become of Gazans if they went into exile in Egypt? The Egyptian regime fears Hamas, the Palestinian subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Since October 7, we seem to forget that another reality existed in Israel: Israeli Arabs coexisting with Jews. An integration that is certainly imperfect but generally peaceful. Mistreated, this reality still exists. Despite the current darkness, it is about continuing the search for a lasting solution for the future. A shared state? Two States? We must explore these perspectives even if they seem light years away.