The Loss of Palestine: First the State, Now the Dream?

Within the last year, how has the clout of one country, the United States, altered the prospect of a one or two state solution between Palestine and Israel?

Since before the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the debate of a one state or two state solution has troubled scholars, politicians, and the daily lives of Palestinians and Israelis. Decades later, Palestine continues to be held in suspension, not recognized as an individual state yet also not part of Israel. In the last year, the United States has reversed decades of diplomatic tradition. Actions such as the acknowledgment of illegal settlements as part of Israel, the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the restriction of aid to Palestine have disrupted Palestine’s tenuous relationship with Israel as neither a state nor an equal. There has been an enduring history of Arab and European support for Palestinians, yet in the light of these recent events their support has proven to be superficial in the face of United States clout. Although numerous countries have condemned the United States’ shift in diplomatic ties, none of them have acted to support the Palestinians. This has drastically changed the power balance between Palestine and Israel, inevitably overturning much of the literature regarding a one or two state solution. Through this research, I wish to reanalyze the one or two state solution through the lens of recent events. I will draw on the last year, while also continuing to adjust my research as new events occur. To see how the clout of the United States alone could reshape the debate of a one or two state solution is immensely important as it exemplifies how the actions of even one actor can have widespread ramifications for the future prospect of Palestine.

I will primarily rely on news articles in order to reference the most recent information as events unfold. I understand the risks of relying on news articles as a source, but I will cross check information between multiple sources, Arab, European, and American, both in English and Arabic, to provide the most accurate depiction of actions and the reactions to them. I will also use the Swem Library Database to reference previous scholarly debates regarding the one and two state solution to analyze how recent United States actions may invalidate or enforce previous conceptions. I anticipate my final research appearing as a concise, 15 page paper that is up to date with events into August 2018.