Center for American Progress

RELEASE: The Next Administration Should Take Practical Steps to Create Conditions for a Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Press Release

RELEASE: The Next Administration Should Take Practical Steps to Create Conditions for a Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Washington, D.C. — The next administration has the opportunity to advance U.S. interests in the Middle East by supporting building blocks to create a foundation for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, argues a new report released today by the Center for American Progress. The report, co-authored Mara Rudman, former deputy special envoy for Middle East Peace, and CAP Senior Fellow Brian Katulis, outlines a framework that would lead to the goals of a more secure Israel and a sustainable, contiguous Palestine.

The report examines the Israeli-Palestinian predicament in the context of today’s Middle East and the efforts by the United States and other global and regional powers to resolve this conflict over the past several years. It makes the case for the incoming Trump administration to adopt a pragmatic approach that brings Israelis and Palestinians closer to resolving the conflict through coordinated actions that improve lives on the security, economic, and political fronts; an approach that also would reiterate longstanding U.S. support for a future nonmilitarized Palestine on 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.

“The Trump administration should build on the strong track record of bipartisan U.S. engagement and investment to enhance security and economic growth for Israelis and Palestinians,” said Mara Rudman. “At a time when the broader region faces continued instability from terrorism and civil wars, the Israeli-Palestinian front is one area is where the new administration can have a significant positive impact if it adopts a pragmatic approach.”

The report argues that direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are currently unworkable, but the United States can create positive incentives to help Israelis and Palestinians set the conditions for a two-state solution.  The report outlines six building blocks that would make progress toward a two-state solution:

  1. Enhance teamwork with regional partnerships through incentives and tools of persuasion that leverages each country’s strengths
  2. Support Israeli and Palestinian political leadership
  3. Ensure that both parties are safe from threats that could derail progress toward a compromise
  4. Put forward an interim vision for Jerusalem that allows for an administrative subdivision for Arab East Jerusalem neighborhoods and certain surrounding villages to be able to serve their populations effectively
  5. Prioritize unity between Gaza and West Bank in improved services as reliable delivery of water and electricity will boost economic opportunity and quality of life
  6. Link territory and economy to give Palestinians greater ability to operate their own businesses on land they own, which would bolster the Palestinian economy

“The United States can use its unique leverage to strengthen trust and confidence between Israelis and Palestinians, but it should avoid taking steps that might squander this leverage without producing clear results,” said Brian Katulis. “President-elect Trump should encourage coordinated and constructive steps that bring the parties closer to a two-state solution.”

Click here to read the report.

Click here to read the Center’s overall strategy for the Middle East.

For more information or to speak to an expert on this topic, please contact Tom Caiazza at tcaiazza@americanprogress.org.