I attended this week a lecture at the Hebrew University presented by a visiting academic dealing with the future of the territories [Judea and Samaria], Israel's administration of the same and the need for a shift in the way problem-solving is perceived within the context of the failure of the "two-state solution" for decades. The academic wanted to progress to a new construct and paradigm.
At the outset, he presented several examples of how scientists have made presumptions only to realize that they were totally wrong. One was the ether experiments that were predicated on the assumption that there actually did exist such a thing. Another was the move from Newtonian physics to the theory of relativity.
The lecture included terms such as negative as well as positive core heuristics, paradigms, anomalies, theoretical apparatus, construct, gestalt, colonialism, Kuhnsian shift, categories of coherent theory, etc. and at the end, there were questions and comments. One person stated, inter alia, that the two-state solution was an Arab initiative. Poor Peel Commission or, for that matter, the division of historic Palestine in 1922 and the creation of Transjordan. The opinion was voiced that actually the Arabs of the Gallil were treated worse prior to 1966 than those of Judea and Samaria since.
I ventured a question and asked: is there any assumption underpinning the framework that you are suggesting that cannot be touched? Puzzled he, I added: for example, Palestinian Arab nationalism.
The answer, he half apologized, would be cruel. If this was a class of advanced physics and a student came in, he said, and asked what that symbol on the blackboard meant, he would not be allowed to continue in the class.
That was it.
Of course, he could simply have replied that everything is open for discussion and study and experimentation. Or that Jewish Zionism and a specific Arab Palestinianism are a given. But that, I fear, would have opened up a new front: if the Arabs have consistently rejected a Jewish national identity since 1920, and doing it quite violently, and rejected every diplomatic initiative this past century and following that up with, yes, violence, and if Zionism is assumed to be colonialism as was intimated in the talk, then obviously, some fundamentals are sacred and cannot be touched while others can most definitely be challenged and whittled away or belittled.
In any case, I am glad that scientists discovered the world is no longer flat.