A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has never drawn the support of more than a narrow majority of either Israelis or Palestinians-and, much of the time, not even that. Such a solution only meets the minimum needs of each side-and nothing more. As such, a two-state outcome will never win truly broad and deep political support among Israelis or Palestinians.
The proper analogy here is not with Northern Ireland -- now much in vogue, given Senator Mitchell's appointment as President Obama's Middle East envoy. The more appropriate comparison is with the Balkans -- where the international community, led by the United States, defined its own interests in negotiated settlements to the conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo, and effectively told the parties that negotiated settlements would be achieved.
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