Question on the “two state solution”

Often sophisticated and complex analysis and proscription are generated at great cost and investment, involving massively influential individuals and institutions.

Experts in many fields are commissioned and projects expand.  But  attention to the underlying values assumptions in such massive investments often is overlooked.

Look at longstanding question of a “two state solution” from the most elementary starting point comparing the value of separation, to the value of integration.

Quora is a forum for questions and answers

Here is my response to a member asking about the “two-state solution.”


If the two state solution is dead, what is the future for Palestinians?


The Palestine Papers indicate that the Israeli government refused huge concessions. Does that mean that they believe they can inch the Palestinians out, one settlement at a time?


Answer Summary


The pursuit of two states is misguided to begin with

The problem is not technically that “the two-state solution is dead” so much as that the phrase is an oxymoron. Two states is not a solution.

It both disappoints, and confuses me that intelligent and well meaning people pursue this. The fact is obviously that even a most perfectly and seamlessly crafted and implemented “two-state” arrangement would solve next to nothing.

As best I can see, “a two-state solution” is something of a nickname for “a slightly smaller Israel, with a new hostile neighbor.” Presently Israel is size X, and has as its neighbors, Lebanon, Syriah, Jordon, kind of somehow Saudi Arabia (a stone’s skip or two across the puddle), and Egypt.

What is called “a two state solution,” would make Israel size X minus, add a new “country” (Palestine?) into the geography, while doing flat zero to solve ANY of the deeply tragic difficulties and suffering born by all people trapped in this sad and complicated relationsip.

The solution the region needs is a growing integration; fewer and fewer boundaries, not more and more of them, ever more irremovable, cynically politicized, and grotesquely militarized.

The costly (in all ways) effort to establish “two states” no matter how on earth it could be designed still leaves the horrific reality that each side would continue with madness and zeal to desire and seek by all means treasure held by the other (family property, access to sacred sites and more)

Calcifying division, enmity, and distrust into political structures (that automatically implies military defense of the political) should never be bound in the same sentence with the sweet, liberating world solution.

More bonds, more trust, more rights, more freedoms, more understanding, greater integration, expanding cooperation characterize the essential impulse that should appear in sentences with the word solution.

About Frank Kaufmann

Work in: * Religion and Peace * Values in knowledge and Information * Luxembourg * Ivory Coast Consult in: * Interreligious and international relations, * Writing, Editing, Publishing, * Teaching, Training, Education

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