I have spent some time with a Palestinian from Ramallah yesterday, who came to Heidelberg for a visit. We spent a couple of hours strolling through town, with the picturesque silhouette of the castle and old city contrasting sharply with the main topic of our conversation. His first-hand experience with the result of the crisis in Lebanon/northern Israel on the Palestinian Territories is on the one hand that the frequent meetings he has with Israeli academics are suffering from an atmosphere that is cooling off rapidly. On the other hand, he says the life in Ramallah has been disrupted by heightened security measures, with longer closures etc. The atmosphere is deteriorating there, too, with many sympathies flying towards Hamas and Hizbullah, even from secular people who are still working with the Israelis (the latter is something that's unique for the water sector, I might add).
The major problem with this is, however, not today, but tomorrow. The children who are now in Israel, Palestine and Lebanon, experiencing the crisis, will in five to fifteen years be the students and young professionals responsible for their countries' future. Nothing is stronger than personal experience with violence and humiliation, and nothing is more difficult to overcome in a situation of conflict. At some point, all parties in the Middle East will have to understand this, and stop putting military logic over psychology.