Jun 6, 2019

Pushing one-state solution in Senate risks Israeli and U.S. interests

Senators Chris Van Hollen (D–Md.) and Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), co-drafters of the Senate resolution, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

If Israel succeeds in its reported attempts to block the U.S. Senate from expressing support for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, the result could further destabilize the Middle East and endanger American interests across the region.

The big picture: Support for a two-state solution has been U.S. policy since the George W. Bush administration, as it could ensure Israel remains a Jewish-majority democracy while also providing justice for the Palestinians. This bipartisan consensus has broad political support among the American electorate.

Details: A one-state solution — with Israel maintaining physical control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, potentially through annexation — would permanently deny political rights, economic freedom and a sense of justice to the 4.7 million Palestinians in those territories.

The catch: There are risks for Israel as well, including the potential for Palestinians to outnumber Jews given current population growth.

  • That could mean either the end of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state or, as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has said, Israel becoming an apartheid state, leading to permanent instability for Israel and deep resentment toward the U.S. across the Arab world.
  • However, Israel doesn’t appear to be worried about the latter, as long as it has American backing to control the Palestinian territories without providing political rights.

Between the lines: Senators are attempting to safeguard the U.S.' interests in the Middle East and to protect Israel from what could ultimately be a counterproductive strategy.

  • If the U.S. communicates a lack of support for a one-state solution, in which Palestinian political rights are denied, Israel could be less likely to see that outcome as an option. A Senate resolution would make this clear in a way the Trump administration has not.

Joel Rubin is the president of the Washington Strategy Group and a former deputy assistant secretary of state.

Go deeper

The race to catch Nike's Vaporfly shoe before the 2020 Olympics

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Four months ago, on the very same weekend, Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to run a marathon in under two hours, and fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei shattered the women's marathon record.

Why it matters: Kipchoge and Kosgei were both wearing Nike's controversial Vaporfly sneakers, which many believed would be banned because of the performance boost provided by a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole that acted as a spring and saved the runner energy.

Go deeperArrow34 mins ago - Sports

Reassessing the global impact of the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economists are rethinking projections about the broader economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak after a surge of diagnoses and deaths outside Asia and an announcement from a top CDC official that Americans should be prepared for the virus to spread here.

What's happening: The coronavirus quickly went from an also-ran concern to the most talked-about issue at the National Association for Business Economics policy conference in Washington, D.C.

Tech can't remember what to do in a down market

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Wall Street's two-day-old coronavirus crash is a wakeup alarm for Silicon Valley.

The big picture: Tech has been booming for so long the industry barely remembers what a down market feels like — and most companies are ill-prepared for one.