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Policy Analysis

Policy Focus 141

Aligning Policy with Preference: Preserving a Path to a Two-State Solution

Einat Wilf

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December 2015


In this Institute study, former Labor Knesset member Einat Wilf suggests that a full alignment by Western states of their Palestine-Israel policies with their preferences could yield a novel approach to peacemaking.

In October 2014, Sweden became the first major Western nation to recognize a Palestinian state, and parliaments across Europe have indicated a desire to follow suit.

Such gestures reflect Western frustration with the repeated failure of negotiations to produce a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement as well as a sense that the two-state paradigm is in jeopardy. Yet while twenty years of negotiations have not delivered peace, they have yielded a broadly agreed, documented set of preferences by Western countries on the following principles: the establishment of a Palestinian state side by side with the Jewish state of Israel, recognized borders based roughly on the 1967 lines, Jerusalem as the capital of both countries, and an "agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee issue."

In this Institute study, former Labor Knesset member and Institute adjunct fellow Einat Wilf suggests that a full alignment by Western states of their Palestine-Israel policies with their preferences could yield a novel approach to peacemaking. A haphazard pick-and-choose approach, by contrast, could hasten the very dissolution it aims to prevent.

The Author

Dr. Einat Wilf, a senior fellow with the Jewish People Policy Institute and the Baye Foundation adjunct fellow at The Washington Institute, served in Israel's 18th Knesset as chair of the Education, Culture, and Sports Committee, chair of the Subcommittee for the Relations of Israel with World Jewish Communities, and member of the influential Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Previously, Dr. Wilf served as foreign policy advisor to Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres and strategic consultant with McKinsey & Company. Born and raised in Israel, she served as an intelligence officer in the Israel Defense Forces.

She is the author of four books that explore key issues in Israeli society: My Israel, Our Generation (2007) Back to Basics: How to Save Israeli Education (at No Additional Cost) (2008), It's NOT the Electoral System, Stupid (2013), and most recently, Winning the War of Words: Essays on Zionism and Israel (2015).