Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Hopeless Case for U.S. Policy in the Middle East?   [open pdf - 308KB]

"The Israeli-Palestinian issue remains one of the most significant and difficult dilemmas facing the international community. The ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has directly and indirectly spawned several regional wars in the past five decades, threatened Western access to critical oil resources in the Middle East, provided a justification for increased militarization throughout the region, and caused a high number of civilian deaths as result of terrorism. To end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not simply a question concerning Israel's security and finding a just solution for the Palestinians, it is vital for the interests of the U.S. in the region. Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects, however, are not hopeful. Many peace plans have been advocated to reach a settlement and the U.S., under every president from Truman to George W. Bush, has undertaken efforts on its own. […] The U.S. should take the lead in a renewed diplomatic initiative of the international community to facilitate a sustainable settlement. Only through direct and firm U.S. commitment to a renewed peace process can the current cycle of violence be broken and a sustainable settlement be reached. A new strategy should involve the Arab nations, has to be based on international consensus on the end state for both conflict parties up front, and should establish firm milestones on the 'road to peace'. A successful long-term approach has to consider all issues preventing a peaceful coexistence of Israelis and Palestinians. Besides defining borders and addressing issues, like security for the region, refugee return and compensation, the framework has to answer the question on how to build a survivable sovereign Palestinian state and to define the future status of Jerusalem."

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