Israel, Jordan, and Palestine
The Two-State Imperative
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Brandeis University Press
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I owe a special debt of gratitude to my colleagues at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University, where I spent the 2009–2010 academic year on sabbatical from my home institution, Tel Aviv University, as a Visiting Senior Fellow on the...
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Speaking of Palestinian statehood could have various possible meanings. It could mean one single state in the area between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan or Western Palestine that would replace Israel. It might refer to a two-state solution in which a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza would coexist with Israel, more or less...
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The failure to achieve a peaceful solution between Israel and the Palestinians based on two independent states, Israel and Palestine, has given rise to the recently more salient support for the one-state idea. This notion suggests that instead of two states there should be one single state spanning the entire territory of Western Palestine...
1. Between Binationalism and Partition
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The debate on partition and, in its present reincarnation, the discourse on the pros and cons of the one-state or two-state solution go back to the earliest days of the conflict in British Mandatory Palestine. Some of the original assumptions of the Zionist founding fathers were flawed. The first was that with the issue of the Balfour...
2. The Palestinians and the Two-State Idea: A Guide for the Perplexed
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After the Palestinians had finally lost the war of 1948, Jordanian and Iraqi forces were in control of the West Bank, and Israel was in control of the rest of Mandatory Palestine, except for the Gaza Strip, which was under the control of the Egyptian army. All the same, the Arab Higher Committee and the Palestine National Council, meeting on October 1, 1948, in the city of Gaza, declared the independence of Palestine...
3. Israel and the Two-State Paradigm: From Reluctant Acquiescence to Self-Interest
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The complex and convoluted acceptance by the Palestinians of the two-state idea in 1988 was eventually matched in the 1990s by Israel’s somewhat less convoluted but equally reluctant acceptance of independent Palestinian statehood. For decades Israel had firmly rejected the notion, though there were occasional digressions...
4. The Alternative: The Promotion of the One-State Agenda
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The arduous negotiations and the apparently insurmountable obstacles to an Israeli-Palestinian agreement on a two-state solution eventually gave rise to the argument that it was a useless endeavor. A far more reasonable alternative, so the argument went, was to resort to the creation of one state to be shared by Israelis and Palestinians, instead of an independent...
5. The Evolution of the Jordanian Role
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Israeli ideas for recruiting the Jordanians to pull the chestnuts out of the fire were unrealistic. The Jordanians did not have the slightest intention of doing so and could not be forced into this role either. Jordan, which had once been so deeply involved in the Palestinian question...
6. The Revival of the Two-State Imperative
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It was abundantly clear that a one-state solution was not about to be implemented, nor would it be in the foreseeable future. But a two-state solution, resolving all issues in abeyance, was not in the offing either. At the same time, the Palestinians across the board, at least in principle, did not accept an interim or provisional agreement...
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With the failure of the peace process and after seventeen long years since the signing of the Oslo Accords, the two-state solution lost much of its appeal, legitimacy, and practicality in the eyes of all concerned. The entrenchment of the Israeli settlements and the fecklessness of successive Israeli governments (with the surprising exception of Ariel...
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Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2011