Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stephen Walt: two-state solution for Israel-Palestine is dead

Stephen Walt, one of the most prominent of the Realist foreign policy theorists, declares the long-standing US goal of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is now dead. In Two-state solution, R.I.P. Foreign Policy 11/23/2010. For Walt, the final nail in the coffin was apparently the law recently passed by the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) requiring a referendum on withdrawals from the Occupied Territories:

Wake up and smell the coffee, folks. "Two states for two peoples" is dead. I say that with genuine regret, because I've long thought it was the best solution to a long and tragic conflict. If Obama's Middle East team had any backbone -- and it's been clear for some time that they don't -- they would pull their demeaning offer to give Israel extra $3 billion in weapons and a bunch of diplomatic concessions in exchange for a partial 90-day settlement freeze off the table immediately, and keep it off until the Israeli government voted to rescind this law.
It seems clear that Israel's choice now is whether they want to become a multicultural democracy in which Jewish citizens will soon be a minority, or whether they want to continue the current trajectory toward becoming an apartheid state with a Jewish majority but a less and less democratic system.

If Walt is right, 43 years after the Seven Day War in 1967, the possibility of a two-state solution leaving Israel as a majority-Jewish democracy over the long term is gone. Permanently.

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