For the longest time Lori Lefkovitz believed in the promise of a two-state solution that would resolve tensions between Israel and Palestine. “Under the immediate circumstances it feels wrong and untimely even thinking about it,” says Lefkovitz, the Ruderman Professor of Jewish Studies and director of Jewish Studies at Northeastern University.
More than 1,300 Israelis have died in the shocking Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas, the militant group that rules the Palestinian territory of Gaza, a 25-mile slip of land whose airspace and shoreline are controlled by Israel. Israel subsequently declared war on Hamas with the vow of “crushing” the terrorist organization. Airstrikes have left hundreds of thousands homeless in Gaza.
Max Abrahms, a Northeastern associate professor of political science who is an expert in international security and terrorism, says the odds are extremely small of negotiating peace between Israel and Palestine. “There are some problems where it’s very difficult in practical terms to come up with a solution, and I believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an example,” Abrahms says. “It’s like someone looking at a terminal case of cancer. They want to solve it. But not all problems are solvable.”