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.
Today marks a symbolic victory for those who believe that an Israeli-Palestinian peace is only possible if both sides are treated as equals. The European Parliament voted yesterday to change the name of its "Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council" to the "Delegation for Relations with Palestine" by 344 votes to 282.
I leave the region with all the usual feelings, heavy feelings, the same ones people much brighter and more eloquent than me have described through the years. I just have one small, unfurling seed of optimism; knowing that if water could be disentangled from the war, it presents a genuine opportunity for co-operation and relationship building between neighbours. In all the gloom there is a glimmer of hope and it's right there, in the water.
Today, some powers and principalities are trying to lure the MENA genie back into its bottle - with brutal force, lavish financial inducements or political shenanigans. But this genie is cunning: it has tasted freedom outside the bottle and sees its own world with different lenses. Its instincts cannot easily be tamed back into the bottle!