Few issues are more polarizing than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and fewer people than ever are willing to step away from their respective “sides” long enough to work toward a peaceful solution.

My experiences show that it doesn’t have to be that way.

I have witnessed firsthand the tremendous love and cooperation between the Jewish and Muslim communities here in Arizona. While we may disagree on certain issues, we have many more things in common than we have differences.

Jews have surrounded Muslims, so they may pray without fear. Muslims have lead fundraising drives to repair desecrated Jewish cemeteries. By focusing on our shared goals instead of what divides us, we are able to build trust and understanding, laying the foundation to work together on solutions to larger, more weighty world issues.

In this model, I firmly believe Israeli and Palestinian leaders can negotiate in good faith to achieve a two-state solution. Conversely, if Israel and Palestinian leaders don’t start dealing with this question seriously – respectful of the nuances and sensitivities involved for both sides – an agreement is likely to never be reached.

The two-state solution has been American policy across four administrations and has been endorsed by each of the most recent Israeli and Palestinian leaders.