In This Review

Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality
Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality
By Ian S. Lustick
232 pp, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019

Once a supporter of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lustick now deems that goal a deceptively Solomonic, and often disingenuous, approach to avoiding a “one-state reality.” In a series of connected essays, he examines the forces in Israeli history and politics that have contributed to the failure of the two-state solution, including the long-standing Zionist expectation that defeat would force Arab hands but require no concessions by Israel, a culture of profound mistrust of adversaries shaped by the legacy of the Holocaust, and U.S. indulgence of Israeli anxieties, which encouraged belligerence and discouraged compromise. Lustick argues that a paradigm shift—a change in the conceptual framework that guides policymakers and activists—is necessary, and he puts forward his case concisely, vigorously, and candidly. His argument is compelling: whatever promise it once held, the two-state solution is now dead. But in light of the continuing expansive ambitions of Israeli leadership and the simultaneous decay of vision and dynamism among the Palestinians, it is hard to know what exactly should replace the old paradigm.