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The Stabilization Plan

- Abstract

Since 2002, the so-called “two-state solution” to the conflict between Israel and its neighbors has become the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy. From former President George W. Bush’s first conditional endorsement of Palestinian statehood on June 24 of that year to President Barack Obama’s Middle East envoy George Mitchell’s announcement on April 17 of this year that “a two-state solution is the only solution,” the American commitment to Palestinian statehood has steadily grown in scope and intensity.

The Obama administration has made establishing a Palestinian state the most urgent item on its Middle Eastern policy agenda. On April 24, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the House Appropriations Committee that U.S. and Arab support for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is contingent on the Netanyahu government’s willingness to accept the two-state solution and make the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state a principal goal. “For Israel to get the kind of strong support it’s looking for vis-à-vis Iran,” she said, “it can’t stay on the sidelines with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts. The two go hand in hand.”

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