The Rise and Demise of the Two-State Paradigm

Efraim Inbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The conventional wisdom recommends the establishment of a Palestinian state to bring about an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (the two-state paradigm). This article first reviews the confluence of domestic and international factors that led to the resurgence of the two-state paradigm. Next, it concludes that a peaceful outcome in accordance with this paradigm is unlikely to emerge in the near future: the two national movements, the Palestinian and the Zionist, are not close to a historic compromise, and the Palestinians are not able to build a state. Finally, the article analyzes the policy options available to policymakers. State-building is unlikely to succeed. Similarly, a binational state, where Arabs and Jews live peacefully together is not within reach. A regional approach that advocates a greater role for Arab states in Palestinian affairs has better chances of stabilizing the situation than the previous options. Finally, in the absence of a solution, the most realistic policy appears to be conflict management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-283
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author acknowledges the support of the Ihel Foundation for this research. The author benefited from comments by Stuart Cohen, Steven David, Hillel Frisch, Avi Kober and Jonathan Rynhold.


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