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Sairah Siddique
Arab Israeli Conflict
Dr. Berryman
April 29, 2010
One State, Two States, Five State, Too Many States

Discuss the two-state solution proposed to the Obama Administration. What do


you make of this proposal?

For more than fifty years, both Palestinians and Israelis have endured tragedies inflicted

by the rivaling peoples. President Barack Obama and his administration decided to take action to

ensure such violence is impeded and eventually ceased. In 2009, President Obama received a

proposition, “A Last Chance for a Two-State Israel-Palestine Agreement), written by a group of

ten bipartisan members of the U.S./Middle East Project. Though a two-state solution will not

lead to the most ideal results, it is far better than the violence currently arising in Israel and

Palestine.

The authors begin by urging four key steps to “maximize the prospects for success,”

which were to present a clear U.S. vision, search for a more realistic approach toward Hamas and

a Palestinian Unity government, stop the discouragement of Palestinian national reconciliation,

and encourage negotiations between Israel and Syria.1 Once achieved, these four factors should

help overcome most blockades to peace. The next section begins by discussing the need for

peace in the context of American interests. The authors explain how it is essential for the Barack

Administration to “make the Arab-Israeli conflict a high national security priority from the

beginning.” They also describe how both people deserve peace, and how both sides must possess

“trust and confidence” between them for any sort of achievement. Many obstacles stand in the

way of such negotiations, including disunity in Israel; the West Bank/Gaza split between Fatah

and Hamas; external negative factors such as Syria and Iran, and “half-hearted American

1
Brzezinski, Sbigniew, Chuck Hagel, Lee H. Hamilton…, “A Last Chance for a Two-State Israel-Palestine
Agreement,” US/Middle East Project, (New York, USMEP, 2009), 5-6.
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facilitation.”2 Though these are difficult obstacles to prevail over, it is possible if both Palestine

and Israel are willing to make such efforts.

The greatest issue is that of distribution of territory between the Palestinians and Israel.

According to these authors, the borders should be founded on the 1967 armistice lines, which

would be further adjusted through mutual agreement. Thus, Palestinians will unquestionably

receive Gaza, but the West Bank will be more problematic due to the Israeli settlements. The

authors also propose a U.S.-led multinational force to guarantee the vital peace for a successful

transitional period. The holy city of Jerusalem would remain physically divided while also

housing two national capitals. This will work by Israel controlling the Jewish holy places while

Palestinian administering the Muslim and Christian holy places. Finally, the issue of refugees is

mentioned with great caution since Israel believes the “right of return” to be the “ultimate ‘third

rail.’”3 Unfortunately, the authors lack a clear solution to this issue. Instead, they simply

recognize the right of four million refugees to justice, declaring that cooperation between the

United State and Israel is mandatory on such a sensitive issue.

A two-state solution, though not as ideal as a one-state, is far better than the ever

increasing violence between the Palestinians and Israelis. However, there should be no hesitation

to transfer Gaza or even the West Bank to Palestine. Additionally, though the answer to

Jerusalem sounds practical, it is easier said than done. Chances are the Palestinian and Israelis

will clash, unless the U.S. keeps its promise of leading a multinational force to ensure that peace

is kept. Furthermore, the refugee crisis must be solved and intertwined with the establishment of

a Palestinian state. If a two-state solution is to be used, a small portion of the Palestinian refugees

should be allowed into Israel. It is unfair and immoral to do otherwise.

2
Brzezinski, 10-11.
3

Brzezinski. 12.