Israel–Palestine: One State or Two: Why a Two-State Solution is Desirable, Necessary, and Feasible

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The recent collapse of the US-brokered peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and the eruption of violence between Israel and the Hamas show the enormous difficulties for reaching a two-state solution. Given the background of quite a few earlier failures, which sometimes led to bloody confrontations, the current impasse might lead to despair of the possibility of reaching a partition of the Land of Israel/Palestine between the two peoples. Despite this problematic record, this paper will argue that even though a two-state solution is fraught with numerous problems, it is the only possible peaceful solution that is both desirable and necessary. A key argument that buttresses this assessment is that in extreme nationalist conflicts, a partition, despite its numerous problems, is the most desirable solution or the least undesirable one. Over the years observers have introduced alternative conceptions of the character of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict as colonial, civilizational, religious, class, realist and civil/ethnic in nature. As I argue elsewhere none of these alternative conceptions is correct. Rather, I show in this paper that the conflict is a severe case of an ethno-nationalist conflict with numerous manifestations of what I call a ‘state-to-nation imbalance.'

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-452
Number of pages15
Issue number4
StatePublished - 7 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Editor of Ethnopolitics.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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