In any conflict, knowing who strikes the first blow doesn’t necessarily tell us much. In nearly every instance, it is necessary to dig deeper and uncover the backstory behind it. Only then is it possible to assign responsibility for the clash to one or another side and envision what a peaceful resolution might look like.
In the case of the current violence between the Palestinians and the Israelis, a New York Times reporter uncovers the backstory to that conflict. And in my reading of it, the guilty party for this new cycle of violence, irrespective of who struck the first blow, is Netanyahu and the Israeli government and the only way to prevent its reoccurrence is to address the underlying causes of this conflict: the systematic and sustained opposition of the Israeli government to the formation of a sustainable, territorially contiguous, and independent Palestinian state, living side by side and in peace with the state of Israel.