The Israeli-Palestinian peace process — the one that is supposed to end with a two-state solution — is on life support. Both sides in the conflict have made their share of missteps, but Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, all but pulled the plug earlier this month by pledging during his reelection campaign that Palestine would never become a state on his watch. He reaffirmed the sentiment even as he dialed back the rhetoric after the vote. This position runs directly counter to U.S. national security goals.
A two-state solution has been an American goal for nearly two decades. Ina 2002 speech, George W. Bush became the first president to explicitly call for the creation of an economically sustainable, demilitarized Palestinian state. “The establishment of the state of Palestine is long overdue,” he saidin 2008. “The Palestinian people deserve it. And it will enhance the stability of the region, and it will contribute to the security of the people of Israel.” Today, virtually all American politicians, on both sides of the aisle, publicly support this outcome. But with Netanyahu standing in its way, how can the United States advance this goal?
By recognizing the state of Palestine.