Can the Two-State Solution Be Saved?

The Elders, a group of independent leaders founded by Nelson Mandela, discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Related Media and Tools

Follow the conversation on Twitter using #EldersDC.

Twenty years after the Oslo Accords, the Middle East peace process is stalled. As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attempts to restart direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians, what needs to be done to save the two-state solution?

The Elders, a group of independent leaders founded by Nelson Mandela, discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland; Lakhdar Brahimi, special envoy to Syria and former foreign minister of Algeria; and Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States, discussed U.S. efforts, the Arab Peace Initiative, the role of the European Union, and the impact of regional events on the conflict. Marwan Muasher moderated.

Martti Ahtisaari

Martti Ahtisaari is the former president of Finland, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and an expert in international peace mediation, diplomacy, and post-conflict state building.

Lakhdar Brahimi

Lakhdar Brahimi is special envoy to Syria, former foreign minister of Algeria, and an expert in peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction.

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter is the former president of the United States, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and a veteran peace negotiator.

Marwan Muasher

Marwan Muasher is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment, where he oversees the Endowment’s research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East.

About the Middle East Program

The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.


Comments (2)

  • HorowitzCSM
    1 Recommend
    Is it self-deception as the Palestinian columnist suggested? Perhaps it's simple inexperience? I would hope it isn't ineptitude, but for the life of me, I keep on asking myself: Does anyone in the Obama Administration have any idea what they are attempting to accomplish in the Middle East? The average middle- class, middle-aged Israeli reading his average, middle-of-the-road newspaper must think Americans -- especially American political leaders -- are bonkers. Take, for instance, the recent testimony before Congress by General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Dempsey testified that the great likelihood is that Assad will be in power a year from now. Most Israelis understand that General Dempsey's assessment is a sound and sober one. However, what comes next must send the average Israeli citizen into a stupor of incomprehension. General Dempsey then suggested that Assad might last longer than King Abdullah of Jordan! When Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina asked the General if the King feared he might lose his grip on power within the next year because of the destabilizing impact on his country of millions of refugees from Syria, the General said "that's his concern, that's right." In Israel, when the military generals speak, people listen. But politicians come and go. So what must be the average Israeli reaction to the Obama-Kerry obsession with the two-state solution--- you've got to be kidding! On the highest political levels in Washington and Amman, the future of Israel's most important neighbor is in doubt, and the American Secretary of State has invested nearly all his time on an idea that has languished for nearly twenty years! The two-state solution is premised on the cornerstone of a Hashemite King being on the throne in Jordan. That is Israeli-Arab Peace 101, read General Rabin! Now you're telling us that Syria might become the King's downfall? What comes next? Who is going to replace him? And do you expect us to retreat to the 1949 armistice lines with the future of Jordan in doubt? And wasn't Senator Kerry the US politician who not too long ago suggested that Bashar Assad was a man we could do business with? Get busy on Iran and Syria for the sake of your friends in the region. Israel and Jordan are depending on a sound US policy.
    Reply to this post

    Close Panel
  • Avalona22
    I may sound like an idealist, or utopian, but if we had true leaders by definition and not by self-imposed or presumed right, we would not be in the massive mess we find ourselves in worldwide. The motivations for leadership and high seats of responsibility are not genuine or altruistic. In a higher state of affairs, leaders can only get into power because of their virtue as well as knowledge and experience. Without this people risk being dehumanized, glossed over in our fast track nowhere. We long forgot the true principles and values of taking care of one another, despite color, religion, or race... what a concept, so simple but so estranged from the minds and hearts of too many... or perhaps just the few? What the world needs is Spiritualution, I came across this and like the term. It means Spiritual Revolution and a raising of consciousness not arms. It was founded by U.S.'s Gabriel of Urantia ( in the 1990s. The world needs something fresh and new.
    Reply to this post

    Close Panel

Stay in the Know

Enter your email address to receive the latest Carnegie analysis in your inbox!

Personal Information
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20036-2103 Phone: 202 483 7600 Fax: 202 483 1840
Please note...

You are leaving the website for the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy and entering a website for another of Carnegie's global centers.