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Middle East peace: Is two-state solution kaput?

If a two-state deal isn't reached by 2011, then Palestinians should push for a one-state solution.

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The seemingly perpetual Middle East "peace process" is now at a moment of truth. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said so himself at a press conference on Nov. 4.

Palestinian hopes that the Obama administration would remain resolute in insisting that Israel halt further expansion of its settlements on Palestinian land have been dashed. An especially low moment came when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently used the word "unprecedented" to praise Israel's minimalist promise of restraint in its settlement expansion program. In rapid reaction, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he did not wish to seek reelection because it was now clear that the US would not stand up to Israel.

Washington's capitulation raises the possibility that "the two-state solution is no longer an option and maybe the Palestinian people should refocus their attention on the one-state solution, where Muslims, Christians, and Jews live as equals," Mr. Erakat told the press.

His verbal bombshell just might signal a turning point in the long, frustrating search for peace with some measure of justice in Israel/Palestine.

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