Last updated on: 10/12/2015 | Author:

William Roe Polk, MA, PhD Biography

Foreign Policy Consultant
Con to the question "Is a Two-State Solution (Israel and Palestine) an Acceptable Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?"

“I have listened for my whole professional life to a false dialogue. For years, policy makers and opinion leaders have argued over ‘solutions’ that are unreal or at last tangential: We keep chanting the dirge: one can almost put it to music — one state or two states. Neither is realistic and even if feasible would not solve the fundamental problem. But we seem to believe that, if we can say one or the other often enough, one of them might become acceptable. It is time to drop the nonsense and face the simple facts. They are:

In the ‘one state,’ the Arabs will be the subjugated minority with few rights and little or any security — they will be the ‘Jews’ of an Israeli Germany or an Israeli Imperial Russia, cooped up in ghettos, imprisoned, driven into exile or subjected to a final partition. They, their children and their grandchildren will sporadically resist. Their resistance will call forth more hatred and more reprisal. The cycle will continue.

In the ‘two states,’ those living in the truncated remnants of Palestine (the West Bank and Gaza) will be condemned to perpetual poverty and humiliation. They will have almost no usable agricultural land and virtually no water. They will be cut off from possible markets for what little they can produce. They can have no hope of manufacturing because their draw on electricity will be squeezed. Even the limited money they can earn will be closely controlled and often blocked by the Israeli Central Bank as it now is. They will have limited access to health facilities, educational institutions and even contact with one another, segregated as they are and will be by restricted zones, walls and standing security and military forces. They, their children and their grandchildren will sporadically resist or attempt to strike back.”

“We Should All Be Frightened by What’s Happening in Israel,”, July 9, 2014

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Foreign Policy Consultant
  • Lecturer, Canadian Institute of International Relations, Council on Foreign Relations, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Institute of World Economy and International Affairs of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, and universities and colleges
  • Former Foreign Policy Advisor, Dennis Kucinich Presidential Campaign
  • Former Member, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Former Vice Chairman, W.P. Carey Foundation
  • Negotiator, Suez Canal ceasefire, 1970
  • Former Advisor, McGeorge Bundy, 1967
  • Former Founding Director and President, Adlai Stevenson Institute of International Affairs
  • Former Founding Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago
  • Professor of History, University of Chicago, 1965-1975
  • Former Ford Fellow
  • Former Rockefeller Foundation Fellow (four time)
  • Guggenheim Fellow, Near Eastern Studies, 1961
  • Appointee, Policy Planning Council on Middle East and North Africa, US State Department, 1961-1965
  • Lecturer, Middle Eastern History and Politics, Harvard University, 1955-1961
  • Attended, American University of Beirut
  • Attended, University of Baghdad
  • Attended, Universidad Nacional de Chile
  • Attended, Universidad Nacional de Mexico
  • MA, Oxford University
  • BA, Oxford University
  • PhD, Harvard University
  • BA, Harvard University
  • The United States and the Arab World, 1963
  • The Arab World, 1963
  • Born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • Lives southern France
  • Married to Baroness Elisabeth von Oppenheimer
Quoted in:
  1. Is a Two-State Solution (Israel and Palestine) an Acceptable Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?