Washington elites embrace rights-based approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict

US-ISRAEL-DEFENSE
Members of the US military carry the flags of Israel and the United States before the arrival of Israel’s Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman during an honor cordon at the Pentagon on April 26, 2018 in Washington, DC.  (photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)
A prominent DC think tank has offered a way forward that most in the foreign policy establishment have refused to consider.

By Mitchell Plitnick | Responsible Statecraft | May 4, 2021

If anything has characterized the recent policy discourse around Israel and Palestine, it is despair.

It’s been seven years since the last round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations collapsed. Since then, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank has become entrenched, its siege on the Gaza Strip has deepened, and a growing number of observers are acknowledging that the two-state solution has failed.

Palestinians, who only recently had hope that they might be able to elect a new leadership, have seen national elections — not held since 2006 — postponed indefinitely, while Israel, facing the prospect of a fifth national election in little more than two years, is less incentivized than ever to find a resolution to its ongoing occupation.

If anything has characterized the recent policy discourse around Israel and Palestine, it is despair. “What can be done now” has become a tragic refrain, all the more so because, even while the failure of the Oslo peace process has been manifest, the policy world has remained resistant to alternatives.

But now, a new policy paper issued jointly by the Carnegie Endowment for Peace and the U.S./Middle East Project has broken out of the confines of the traditional debate in the Washington think tank world and offered a new direction for U.S. policy.

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