The two-state solution is the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet we need a new paradigm to reach it because the old “Bilateral Negotiations” paradigm doesn’t work. On the other hand, for the first time in history there is an opportunity for a new regional deal that will generate cooperation between Israel and its new regional allies in order to create stability, limit Iran’s influence, fight radical Islam, rehabilitate the region’s economy and assure Israel’s security. The convergence of interests offers an opportunity to advance the two-state solution, but in a new way.
The old bilateral paradigm assumed that Israelis and Palestinians could negotiate and reach a permanent status agreement for the two-state solution, as if all they needed was to return to the negotiating table and show more seriousness. The recurring failures of the old ways require some fresh thinking – “one more heave” won’t do. In this article, published in Fathom, Co-Founder of The Israeli Peace Initiative Koby Huberman outlines five myths and fundamental misconceptions of the “Old Bilateral Paradigm” and set out the five components of the “New Regional Paradigm”.
Myth 1: The end game
The two-state solution is an unbalanced deal, which has proven hard to sell. It requires Israelis to make significant concessions, and in return gain very little from the Palestinians. The Palestinians will be busy building a weak state and trying to stabilise it while facing huge challenges of security and governance. The asymmetry between Israeli expectations and the Palestinians’ ability to deliver is a major risk. It is unrealistic for a demilitarised Palestinian state to be a guarantor of Israeli security against key strategic threats. Israeli security cooperation with Arab states could provide this. Moreover, the scope of economic cooperation required in the region goes far beyond Israeli-Palestinian economic development opportunities. Lastly, the fundamental Israeli demands for normalisation and recognition cannot be met by the Palestinians.
Read the full article in Fathom.