Resolutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be reached either by agreement or evolution. As the peace talks stumble toward their formal end point, there are essentially four scenarios for political developments between the river and the sea, excluding resurgent violence: two states by agreement, two states by evolution, one state by agreement, or one sovereign entity by evolution. Policymakers should acknowledge these scenarios openly to assess what each one will mean for the future of the region. I recently proposed using basic values as a guideline to assess the desirability of such scenarios: reducing violence, realizing human and civil rights,…Read More... | 12 Comments
The International Criminal Court released a statement on Tuesday rejecting Palestine's petition to investigate allegations of Israeli war crimes in the 2009 Gaza war, known as Cast Lead. With the fairly predictable decision, Israel avoids another round of international opprobrium. But there is also a symbolic meaning: another failure for Palestine's unilateral statehood bid. The decision is a clear political signal, not just a purely legal decision reflecting "objective" international norms. The Palestinians appealed to the Court over three years ago, immediately following the war, based on a provision that even states that are not members of the ICC can…Read More... | 77 Comments
The country may be riveted by the social protests, but the September deadline is still approaching. When the Palestinians declare statehood and take their request to the UN, there are two things Israel could do, regardless of the (largely predictable) UN outcome. Israel could reject the Palestinian declaration – including by ignoring it – or recognize it. The latter is unlikely to impossible. What is likely to happen then? Here are a few possible scenarios for Israel’s response: If Israel officially rejects Palestinian independence, it could then either escalate the physical violence (see the trigger-fast response against unproven sources of…Read More... | 24 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
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