Over twenty years have elapsed since Israel and the Palestinians launched the Oslo process towards a permanent two-state solution and much ink has been spilled on trying to understand why it has failed. To me, one thing is clear: there are real gaps between the parties on all core issues. Do not believe those who tell you that the parties ever came "that close."
My trip showed me the hidden scandal, breaking every international law, the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. I believe this will make a two-state solution virtually impossible. Right now, as well as the barrier, Israel is very actively building settlements on Palestinian land and using the protection of the Israelis housed in the settlements as the justification for military rule. If we truly want to see peace in the region, this blatant flouting of the law simply cannot be allowed to continue.
Every individual in the world has a right to live in peace and in order to ensure we must speak up on injustices and give a voice to those underrepresented communities in order to eradicate the bad and promote ways to facilitate a better future. I pray for little Ali Dawabsheh and his family and hope that this tragedy brings reforms so that one day they can lead a stable and prosperous life.
The desperate measures that Mr Netanyahu went to to achieve his election victory this week were a shock even to jaded old Middle East observers like me. By re-electing him as prime minister at the head of a right-wing coalition, Israeli voters look more than ever as if they have chosen to model themselves on the English football club Millwall, whose supporters' best known chant at matches is "No one likes us, we don't care."
'Tis the season of Nativity scenes. But here's a question to consider: would Joseph and Mary even have been able to reach Bethlehem if they were making that same journey today? hatever your view of Jesus or Muhammad, if you are a Palestinian resident of the West Bank you are a victim of the longest military occupation in the world.
Israelis need to confront a truth that too often is ignored: they too have their zealots, and their murderers. They too have spokesmen who glorify mass murder. When they recoil in horror from the triumphalism of some Palestinian groups, they need to remember - just occasionally - to look in the mirror... the sad truth is that Israelis have grown far too confident that their overwhelming firepower - and the continued support of the US Congress - makes them invincible. It does not.
The truth is that we must hold both sides accountable for the extremists in their midst and for the violence that they commit. And the best tribute we could pay to the poor, innocent people who have been killed is a recommitment to genuine peace and justice, rather than a strategy based on, to quote Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "a heavy hand".
The problem I face is that neither motion adequately reflects my considered view on what needs to be done to resolve this very important issue. The original motion makes no demand on Hamas to give up its rocket attacks on Israel and to accept Israel's right to exist, while the amendment offers no sense of urgency or of the injustice being experience by Palestinian people.