Last updated on: 12/1/2015 | Author:

Peter Berkowitz, PhD, JD Biography

Associate Professor of Law at George Mason University
Pro to the question "Is a Two-State Solution (Israel and Palestine) an Acceptable Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?"

“Israel’s Arab neighbors will have to learn to stop responding to the Palestinians as people locked in an existential conflict over their right to live in their own state and instead as an actual state engaged, like many other states, in territorial dispute with one of its neighboring states. This means establishing formal relations with the new Palestinian state and offering financial assistance. At the same time, Israel’s Arab neighbors will have to treat Israel not as a special source of injustice to the Arab peoples, but as a state like other states, one with disagreements with its neighbors that are susceptible to resolution through negotiation.

Similarly, it will be necessary for the entire Arab world -- reaching east in Africa to Morocco and west to the Gulf monarchies -- to assist in the birth of the Palestinian state. In addition to financial support, one big step would be to normalize relations with Israel, extend full recognition, exchange ambassadors, open up travel, and promote trade. This would defuse tension in the region, build confidence among Israelis, and provide further evidence to the Palestinians that their hopes for the future lie not in violent revolution but in peaceful cooperation…

The international community must continue to invest in the Palestinian people both by offering financial assistance and by providing consultation on the enormous range of issues involved in creating the institutions of a modern nation state. But, unlike the Arafat era, this time the international community must invest responsibly and must hold the Palestinian leadership accountable.

Finally, the United States must continue to play its indispensable role. As Sharon stressed in his Herzliya speech, the Bush administration has already contributed mightily by making clear its agreement with Israel that, in reaching a two state solution, Israel cannot be expected to return precisely to the 1967 borders; Israel must be allowed to keep large settlement blocks, particularly around Jerusalem; and that there will be no right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel. In addition to continuing its close consultation and cooperation with Israel, the United States should now try to explain better, most importantly to the Palestinian people, but also to the international community, that to be pro-Israel is not to be anti-Palestinian -- not only because establishing a viable Palestinian state is in Israel’s strategic interest, but also because it is just.”

“Rules of Disengagement,” The Weekly Standard, Dec. 17, 2004

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Associate Law Professor, George Mason University School of Law
  • Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute, Stanford University
  • Co-founder and Director, Israel Program on Constitutional Government
  • Member, Policy Advisory Board, Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • PhD, Yale University, Political Science
  • JD, Yale University
  • MA, Hebrew University, Philosophy
  • BA, Swarthmore College, English Literature
  • None found