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The solution for Israelis and Palestinians: a parallel state structure

A parallel state structure for Israelis and Palestinians, not a two-state or one-state approach, has the best chance to bring lasting peace.

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Growing US-Israeli tension over continued East Jerusalem settlement construction – which the White House appears unable to stop – underscores a deeper reality: The two-state solution is no longer possible.

The occupied territories are politically, economically, and geographically so deeply integrated into Israel that there is no practical way to transfer them to Palestinian sovereignty within the framework of a two-state solution.

Israeli scholars have been warning of this to anyone who would listen for over two decades.

While they cannot say so publicly, given the events that have transpired since Vice President Biden’s visit to Jerusalem in March, President Obama, Mr. Biden, Secretary of State Clinton and the rest of the Washington foreign-policy establishment may be slowly waking up to the reality that it is simply not possible to establish a viable Palestinian state in the occupied territories.

The question is: Does the US government have a “Plan B” for bringing peace to the Holy Land outside the moribund Oslo Framework?

With almost two decades invested in the Oslo process, the thought of its demise, and with it that of the two-state solution as currently envisioned, is disheartening and frightening. Yet Oslo was always an impossible peace, doomed to fail precisely because it was premised not merely on the notion of two antagonistic, exclusivist nationalist movements peacefully dividing a pint-sized territory, but on doing so while the balance of power – and thus the conflict’s resolution – remained severely skewed toward the stronger side.

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