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Is A Two State Solution Viable Under the Trump Administration? A View from Israel

CGP’s Kamran Bokhari sits down with Yossi Klein Halevi, senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its potential outcomes and repercussions.
Halevi says he does not believe that U.S. President Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has had any salient effect on the situation. He notes that since Trump’s decision, a conventional wisdom has emerged that the two-state solution is dead, but he does not see it that way. A two-state solution is still viable, Halevi says, if either side can muster the political will to restart negotiations.
Halevi points out that the Palestinians do not have much, if anything, to offer in the way of concessions to Israel, but other neighboring countries in the region do. According to Halevi, this is a moment when those neighboring states could step forward and offer “certain limited gestures of normalization” to persuade Israel to begin making concessions. That said, Halevi believes that the two-state solution is terrible for both sides but is “the least disastrous of all the disastrous options.” Moreover, there is no guarantee that any Arab state will be both willing and able to offer Israel anything, though the Arab countries are certainly in a better position than the Palestinian National Authority.
In their conversation, Bokhari and Halevi also discuss the nature of the United States’ relationship with the Middle East and its ability to take advantage of the current opportunity to push Israeli-Palestinian talks forward; what a potential settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians could look like; domestic Israeli politics; Turkey’s position; and how the Syrian situation could lead Israel into a complex conflict similar to the war in Lebanon in the 1980s.
The views expressed herein are the guest’s and do not necessarily reflect those of CGP.