Palestinian-Israeli Impasse - Exploring Solutions to the Palestine-Israel Conflict (2004)

In 2004, when it became clear that Palestinian-Israeli relations had reached a deadlock – there had not been any serious negotiations for over three years, an “Intifada culture” was prevailing, and daily lives were determined by the Israeli re-occupation of Palestinian cities, military in­cursions, and closure policies, PASSIA initiated a project entitled Palestinian-Israeli Impasse - Exploring Solutions to the Palestine-Israel Conflict - in search for the light at the end of the tunnel. At the time, common analysis on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict had it that it was becoming increasingly likely that confrontation and bloodshed would continue and even inten­sify in the absence of any practicable alternatives. This was supported by the fact that all recent initia­tives (e.g., the Clinton parameters of 2000, the Taba talks of 2001, the road map of 2002-3, the Nusseibeh-Ayalon Plan and the Geneva Ac­cords of 2003), had been equally unsuccessful. Palestinians faced a situation where negotiations had stalled and Israel continued unabated its policy of suppression and establishing irreversible facts on the ground, whilst the international community was unable to bring about a settlement consistent with international law and UN Security Council resolutions. An increasing number of voices claimed that the two-state solution – pursued in various forms over the last decades – was effectively pre-empted by the deliberate strategies of recent Israeli governments.


Against this background and in building on its past activities in related subject matters, this PASSIA project aimed to examine whether, or to what degree, the two-state consensus is “dead” and to explore the feasibility of alternative proposals – such as bi-national or federal systems or scenarios involving Jordan and other states – without necessarily promoting them.


The objective of the project was to promote serious dialogue and discussion of the options facing the two communities over the course of the next few years, and to provide a detailed analysis of the prospects for each of the various possibilities for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.


The project consisted of a research component (position papers) and dialogue sessions (roundtables in which the papers were presented and dis­cussed) with an array of Palestinian scholars, intellectuals, members of government and of various political factions, NGO activists, and profes­sionals as well as Israeli academics and activists – all looking at the reasons the two-state solution had failed so far and con­sidering what prospects for future success or failure it still has. The proceedings were published in a book in 2005.