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The Untimely Resurrection of the Two-State Solution

As the war in Gaza rages on, the top priority for American diplomats should be to end the carnage and stabilize the region. But by linking this effort to the ghost of the two-state solution, the United States risks prolonging the war and enabling Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to save his political career.

TEL AVIV – US President Joe Biden’s Middle East peace plan, which reportedly involves re-establishing a path to a two-state solution and full normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world, offers Israelis and Palestinians a chance to salvage their respective national projects from the wreckage of their own self-defeating policies.

Biden recognizes that progress toward Israeli-Arab peace has historically followed major wars and strategic shifts. The same logic, he appears to believe, could be applied to the ongoing war in Gaza, the region’s most devastating since the 1948 war. But the prospects for a diplomatic resolution remain bleak, given Israel’s security concerns and territorial ambitions, along with what Israelis view as the Palestinians’ inflexible demands.

While former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has expressed support for Biden’s plan, albeit with several caveats that the United States might find difficult to accept, Biden’s proposal could pose even greater political challenges for the Palestinians.