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Noah Feldman

Mideast Can't Even Agree on What 'One-State Solution' Means

Israelis and Palestinians have more common ground around a two-state plan.
Let's make a deal.

Let's make a deal.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

For the last several years it has been increasingly common to hear Israelis and Palestinians alike say that the two-state solution to their struggles is dead and that the time has come to discuss a one-state solution. U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged that trend during a news conference Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by saying that he is “looking at two states and at one state” while remaining open to whichever suits the parties.

There’s just one problem: “One-state solution” means something almost completely different on each of the two sides. Years of negotiation and debate have created the general contours of a two-state solution, but when people speak of one-state options, they lack that common ground.