Book Forum: Ian S. Lustick, Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality

Oded Haklai, Ronnie Olesker, Mira Sucharov, Ehud Eiran, Ian S. Lustick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ian Lustick's Paradigm Lost has garnered considerable attention among scholars and educated laypersons and for good reason. The book presents two bold arguments. The first is that the two-state solution (TSS) has become no more plausible than any other solution in the twenty-first century. More specifically, a negotiated TSS is now impossible. Second, the main, albeit not the only, causes for the failure to negotiate a TSS stem from what Lustick refers to as (1) a flaw in Israel's Iron Wall strategy, (2) viewing the Israeli experience through the prism of the Holocaust, and (3) the impact of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, which has prevented the necessary pressure on the Israeli government to advance the compromises required for a TSS. These two arguments are not intrinsically tied, and readers can comfortably accept one without accepting the other.
The argument likely to attract the most attention is about the demise of the negotiated TSS option because of its implications. Paradigm Lost argues that it is time to refocus attention on working within what currently exists, which is a one-state reality (OSR) whereby a single state, Israel, rules the entire territory from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, with different regimes governing different populations in different parts of the territory. The logical conclusion of recognizing the durability of the OSR while accepting the impossibility of negotiating a TSS, in turn, should be to work toward improving the lives of all those living under the jurisdiction of the one-state through advancing democratization and equality for all inhabitants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-164
Number of pages21
JournalIsrael Studies Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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