The Israeli government may begin taking steps toward unilaterally annexing portions of the West Bank soon. This move would present a grave threat to any possibility of a future two-state outcome that allows Israelis and Palestinians to live in freedom and security, each in a state of their own. It would also shatter the paradigm that has governed resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades. Israeli annexation would herald a new era of unilateralism, the consequences of which would be a policy shift on the Palestinian side of the equation as well.
Annexation is far from a foregone conclusion. Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, Arab leaders, former Vice President Joe Biden and nearly every Democrat in Congress have voiced concern or outright opposition. The Trump administration’s position is unclear, as it envisioned annexation in the context of a larger peace plan that the Israeli government seems more reluctant to endorse.
The most effective and meaningful response by U.S. supporters of a two-state solution — especially in Congress — is to advocate formal recognition of the state of Palestine.
If annexation does occur, however, and it is recognized by the Trump administration, the two-state solution will stand on the precipice of irrelevance. In such a world, it will be critical to take steps to bolster its renewal and establish a new set of facts on the ground that shape a two-state environment. The most effective and meaningful response by U.S. supporters of a two-state solution — especially in Congress — is to advocate formal recognition of the state of Palestine.
Read the full article in The Washington Post.
More from CNAS
CommentaryWe Know Peace Plans—This Isn’t One of Them
As two former members of the U.S. negotiating team on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we are deeply skeptical about the peace plan that U.S. President Donald Trump reportedl...
By Hady Amr & Ilan Goldenberg
VideoCan Gaza be rehabilitated without aiding Hamas?
The bombs may have stopped falling on Gaza and the rocket fire from there has ceased for now, but Gazans face a huge task of rebuilding. Ilan Goldenberg, director of the Middl...
By Ilan Goldenberg
CommentarySharper: Israeli-Palestinian Diplomacy
In recent days, Israel and Palestine have been overcome by the worst violence since the 2014 Gaza war. This flare-up poses the first real test to the Biden administration’s fo...
By Anna Pederson, Dania Torres & Kaleigh Thomas
PodcastIsraeli-Palestinian conflict tests Biden team
Pressure is building for President Joe Biden to do more to try to halt Israel’s assault on Gaza. Ilan Goldenberg, former chief of staff to the US special envoy for Israeli-Pal...
By Ilan Goldenberg