I don't stand firmly on either side. Rather, I see this as an opportunity to look at the people and their hearts, rather than the countries and their borders.
I tend to see the Palestinian dilemma more easily because I'm a newcomer to the debate, and I look at the disagreement with only the currently defined borders. Before just a couple of years ago, Palestine wasn't a recognized country in and of itself. It was just the Arab name for the piece of land that is now shared by Israel and the newly recognized country of Palestine. The Arab and Jewish conflict is ancient and seems never ending. How can Israel recognize Palestine, when it appears to them to be just another way for Arab peoples to deny them a homeland again?
Anyone who has read the bible knows that the Israelites/Jews/Hebrews have an ancient history of seeking land, seeking freedom from slavery and oppression, seeking a home where they can live in peace. Of course they are fighting fiercely to claim that home, no matter what current global governments are saying right now. It's not just about right now for them. A large part of Jewish tradition is to keep themselves from being assimilated into other cultures. This has always been a struggle, since they've always shared land with dominating governments, since the days of the pharaohs of Egypt.
It's so difficult to see the struggle clearly, to empathize with people on both sides of the battle, knowing that no one wants to be fighting and that they feel they have no choice. It's been the same since the beginning of time -- a fight between one tribe and another for the better piece of land, hunting ground, access to irrigated land, control of trade routes. It continues in every country even today, when so many of us would hope that our willingness to go to war abate by now. But to war we go.
We privileged Americans in the 21st century cannot understand how deeply the Israelis value their homeland and how important it is to them to keep Arab nations from encroaching on it. We cannot understand how much the citizens of newly-formed Palestine feel injustice when Israel occupies land they believe to be theirs.
We think of war as aggression. What if we took a different perspective and thought of it as pain? No one wants to go to war. It's a last resort of desperate people, people who don't want their young adults going into battle and dying by the hundreds, but don't know how to get their needs met or defend the accomplishments of their ancestors or hope to escape poverty and find a better life. We are a stubborn, willful race, and we easily believe that we are right and everyone else is wrong. What if we tried to acknowledge one another's pain, and then worked on solutions? What if we looked at every other culture as a decent, kind, loving people who just have unmet needs?
We can practice with the poor among us, the refugees and immigrants, the mentally ill, the people of other faiths or no faith, the desperate who turn to drugs or prostitution or alcohol to try to escape the hell that is their lives, the LGBT individuals who just want to be allowed to create the households that work for them and have a fair shot at jobs and to walk down the street without fear. What if we start by acknowledging the fear, the pain, the loneliness, the vulnerability, not just in them, but also in ourselves? Once we start recognizing a part of ourselves in one another, can we really go to war with each other?
I highly recommend a movie, Joyeux Noel, released in 2005. Two opposing armies in trenches across a no-man's land commemorate Christmas. It will touch your heart.