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The Urgency of Palestinian Statehood

Regardless of whether the two-state solution proves to have any life left in it, conferring Palestine the extra legitimacy, leverage, and bargaining power inherent in recognized statehood would be the first step toward offering both sides a better future. The international community should make it a top priority.

MELBOURNE – It is time for Israel to recognize the force of the rapidly growing international movement to recognize Palestinian statehood, not as the final outcome of a political settlement but as a path to achieving it. Were Israel to get serious again about pursuing a two-state solution, it would not be rewarding Hamas, but benefiting itself.

The awful reality, as the horrendous attacks of October 7, 2023, made clear, is that without a political solution that satisfies legitimate Palestinian aspirations, Israel will never be free of the specter of terrorism.

My decades of experience with conflict prevention and resolution, including years of talking to all sides in the Middle East, have drummed home the truth that despair can all too easily turn into rage, and then into indefensible outrage. By the same token, the threat of violence diminishes rapidly during those periods of genuine hope for a just and dignified settlement.