Israelis Unwilling to Risk Two-State Solution; Palestinians Only Interested in Variant That Israelis Cannot Accept
Feb 10, 2021
For decades, the two-state solution has dominated efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, as a result of political and structural developments, that solution might no longer be feasible. RAND researchers used a novel focus group approach to assess which, if any, of five possible alternative futures in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be supported by Israelis and Palestinians.
|PDF file||6.8 MB||
Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.
|Add to Cart||Paperback188 pages||$32.00||$25.60 20% Web Discount|
For decades, the two-state solution has dominated efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Growing doubts about the viability of the two-state solution raise the question of which, if any, possible alternatives could succeed, if appropriately supported by the international community.
RAND researchers conducted 33 focus groups in the region to gather qualitative and quantitative data on the viability of five alternatives: the status quo, the two-state solution, a confederation, annexation, and a one-state solution. The focus groups, conducted in July 2018 and May 2019, collected detailed opinions of more than 270 individuals, including West Bank Palestinians, Gazan Palestinians, Israeli Jews, and Israeli Arabs. These data provide a novel means of investigating whether there are any areas of overlap between Palestinians and Israelis that might form the basis for renewed dialogue.
None of the alternatives was acceptable to a majority of both Israelis and Palestinians. The two-state solution was the most politically viable alternative, although all four populations voiced skepticism toward it. The status quo was preferred by Israeli Jews but strongly disliked by Palestinians. West Bank Palestinians' preferred alternative was the two-state solution, while Gazans ranked a one-state solution slightly above the two-state solution. The data highlight the deep distrust and profound animosity of each side for the other. It is hard to imagine a departure from present trends and where they might lead unless and until strong, courageous leadership among Israelis, Palestinians, and the international community articulates a desire for a better future for all.
The Five Alternatives
Israeli Jewish Qualitative Analysis
Palestinian Qualitative Analysis
Israeli Arab Qualitative Analysis
Details of the Five Alternatives Presented to the Focus Groups
This research was supported by a generous gift from Peter and Carol Richards and conducted within the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy, a center within International Programs at the RAND Corporation.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.