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A Confederal Solution for Palestine

LONDON – Last month, while in New York City, I happened to be staying in the same hotel as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. To accommodate his security needs, the hotel had been converted into a fortress, much like Israel itself.

Netanyahu was in the United States for yet another round of Middle East peace talks. The US offered various sweeteners to induce Israel to freeze its West Bank settlement construction for another 90 days. The Israelis refused; another impasse was reached.

What, then, might be the prospects of a negotiated peace between two peoples with claims to the same land?

The answer is: very poor. All peace efforts since the Oslo accords of 1993 have been based on the “two-state solution,” according to which Israel is supposed to turn over the occupied territories to a Palestinian state, the Palestinians are supposed to renounce any claims on the Jewish state, and everyone is supposed to live happily ever after.