For the last nine decades, whenever outsiders looked at the conflict between Jews and Arabs between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea, they have come up with the same idea. Since both people have claims to the land, it will need to be split. 

A two-state solution refers to the idea of establishing two independent states for Israelis and Palestinians, respectively, living side by side within recognized borders. This usually means creating an independent Palestinian state in the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, alongside the State of Israel. The two states would have their own governments, laws, and security forces, and would coexist peacefully and diplomatically, recognizing each other’s sovereignty and right to exist.

Of course, no such thing has ever existed. The specific details of how such a solution would be implemented remain subject to ongoing debate and disagreement between the two sides and the international community. We can imagine it, and choose to work for or against it. But for the foreseeable future, it isn’t in the cards.

It was first proposed in 1937 by the British Peel Commission. (see Wikicommons map on right. Arab area is in green) This was rejected by the Arab Higher Committee. 

In 1947, The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, was once again rejected by the Arabs. (see Wikicommons map below. Arab area is in green)

Since then many maps and plans have been proposed. From Oslo and the Clinton administration, to Trump’s “Deal of the Century”, refinements and adjustments have been made from every direction. And yet, no progress.

In fact, the growing Jewish population has made many despair of the possibility for such a plan’s success. The issue isn’t just the quantity of Jewish West Bank dwellers.The Jewish population is spread in small enclaves dotted  throughout the territory. This makes actual separation seem impossible to many. 

Is it worth debating the possibility of a Two-State Solution? If there is to be peace between Israelis and Palestinians, do we need to look for other models? Or is this still the basic approach we should maintain?

Mike moderates the debate between Matt, who argues that it’s still possible, and Calev, who maintains that it is not. Join us! 

Listen to Is There Still a Chance for a Two-State Solution Podcast by the Israel Conversation:


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