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Peace and conciliation with our neighbors are essential for Israel, both to demarcate its borders and normalize its status externally, and to end the occupation and the settlement project in the territories and entrench the country’s democracy domestically.

Yet, even though peace is indispensable for Israel’s future, it has disappeared almost completely from the Israeli public discourse. Instead of striving to conclude the conflict with the Palestinians, Israel has assumed a self-righteous posture that alleges it has “no partner” for peace, and diplomatic efforts to achieve a settlement are perceived by public opinion as empty. Military power is seen as the only solution to the country’s problems and the only way to ensure its viability in the Middle East.

Over the years, Haaretz has supported efforts to terminate the conflict and arrive at a political response to the challenges facing Israel – not one based on brute force. The Israel Conference on Peace, sponsored by Haaretz, is intended to restore the missing word to public debate in Israel.

The articles in this section, published in conjunction with the conference, examine past failures in the attempt to achieve peace and consider possible answers to the question, “Where do we go from here?” Should we cling to ideas perceived as self-evident but difficult to realize, or, in despair, pursue the status quo, whose price looks affordable in the short term – but might well turn out to be ultimately ruinous?

The articles that appear in this section have also been published in Hebrew and Arabic