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The Obama Parameters

Getting Israel and Palestine to a Two-State Solution

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington November 9, 2015. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

“This is not something I was able to get done,” U.S. President Barack Obama said of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. “I am not that hopeful that it’s going to happen in the next nine months,” he continued, after which he reiterated his belief that “a two-state solution is the best way.” Obama also cautioned that the United States can’t pursue a two-state solution on behalf of Israel and Palestine but that both states must forge this path for themselves.

Washington, however, should not remove itself from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process entirely. In fact, there are a number of steps Washington should take to help make the two-state solution a reality. Most notably, Obama should leave both sides with one parting gift: a blueprint for what a two-state solution should look like, which will open various tracks for future progress for the parties and for the international community. 

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