F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that “the test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

I am going on a journey to see two opposing ideas: one Israeli, one Palestinian. Though they are often separated by no more than a few feet of metal fencing, concrete walls, or roadway, it can seem as though there is a vast gulf between them.

I am heading to Israel and the Palestinian Territories as part of IPF Atid’s inaugural young professionals delegation. We are all under 40, and we are preparing to inherit the unresolved conflicts from an older generation.

We are going to Israel to hear two sides of a story. We need not accept one perspective as scripture, we just need to “hold” and comprehend them. It’s an exercise that will sometimes be comforting and sometimes deeply disconcerting. But it will help us break down the most divisive narrative questions Israelis and Palestinians grapple with.

Should we be discussing nakba or independence?

Should our lens for understanding the conflict be 1948 or 1967?

Are we to judge the situation in Hebron based on the 1929 massacre or today’s occupation?

Are settlements just people’s homes or are they obstacles to peace?

Is Israel in the West Bank to protect all of its citizens or to shield the settlement enterprise?

Do the answers lie at the extremes or somewhere in the middle?

We need to accept that the answers to these questions we hear in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Gush Etzion and Bethlehem, and Hebron and Ramallah are legitimate to the people sharing them with us, even if we disagree with their positions and even actively fight against their ideas in our own advocacy.

In order to make the most of this unique experience, we also need to operate with a clear goal in mind. That objective should be to have a discourse about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is rooted in a higher level of understanding; rather than a volley of polemics. This happens through embracing dual ideas.

This objective should be far-reaching, but we should start within our own Jewish communities.

Almost everyone I know across the religious and political spectrum in my communities wants Israel to be secure, democratic, and Jewish. The pulse of our communal conversation ought to reflect this imperative. Instead of getting bogged down in inter-organizational disputes and Birthright walk-offs, we should be telling our neighbors about what we saw and heard in the Middle East and how it relates to the urgent task of ensuring Israel’s future.

The conversation in the Jewish community is sure to produce passionate disagreements. Yet if we can learn to hold two opposing ideas in Israel and the West Bank, places where ideas have inspired acts of great violence, then we can weather an energetic debate at home. We won’t achieve an agreement or a solution overnight, but we can spur others toward action in pursuit of a sustainable two-state outcome while building on our own momentum.

As I board my flight to Tel Aviv, I’ll do my best to check my biases at the gate. It is easy to go on in an echo chamber without hearing different points of view. But if we aspire to the “first-rate intelligence” Fitzgerald writes about, then we need to be able to inhabit, understand, and even empathize with a wide array of perspectives; some familiar, some that may feel deeply foreign.