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The Palestinian Dilemma

Summary:
The peace plan proposed by the United States has been praised and damned in line with political affiliation. But no matter what plan is put forward, the Palestinians must change their strategy. Otherwise, the pattern of recent decades, in which every new offer is worse than the last, will be repeated. LONDON – I have been involved, in one way or another, in the Middle East peace process for 12 years. I rarely write about it, because anything said in public usually offends someone. But the publication of the long-awaited American plan for peace is an occasion to take stock. Has the “Great Decoupling” Gone Viral? PS OnPoint Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

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The peace plan proposed by the United States has been praised and damned in line with political affiliation. But no matter what plan is put forward, the Palestinians must change their strategy. Otherwise, the pattern of recent decades, in which every new offer is worse than the last, will be repeated.

LONDON – I have been involved, in one way or another, in the Middle East peace process for 12 years. I rarely write about it, because anything said in public usually offends someone. But the publication of the long-awaited American plan for peace is an occasion to take stock.

I am one of the few people who still believes the creation of a state of Palestine is both desirable and feasible. Most commentators now greet the idea with a hollow laugh. Many Israelis and Palestinians have given up on it.

I haven’t, because of my conviction – perhaps irrational – that reason ultimately prevails. The Israelis should not want to govern Palestinians in perpetuity. The Palestinians need freedom from occupation and the dignity of statehood. And a bi-national state is a solution which solves nothing. To achieve it would require Israel’s consent, which will never be forthcoming. So, an independent and sovereign Palestinian state remains the only reasonable way out of the conflict.

I can think of a thousand things Israel should do to make a Palestinian state more likely. But the truth is that such a state...

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