Mearsheimer on the future of Palestine

Last week I raised the question of what the United States will do if the two-state solution in the Middle East becomes an impossibility. My compatriot John Mearsheimer has gone one step further, in a hard-hitting speech that you ought to read or watch. He believes the two-state solution is no longer possible, and that ...

Walt-Steve-foreign-policy-columnist20
Walt-Steve-foreign-policy-columnist20
Stephen M. Walt
By , a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.
MUSA AL-SHAER/AFP/Getty Images
MUSA AL-SHAER/AFP/Getty Images
MUSA AL-SHAER/AFP/Getty Images

Last week I raised the question of what the United States will do if the two-state solution in the Middle East becomes an impossibility. My compatriot John Mearsheimer has gone one step further, in a hard-hitting speech that you ought to read or watch. He believes the two-state solution is no longer possible, and that the next phase will be struggle for Palestinian rights within a "greater Israel." A key element of that struggle will be inside the Jewish Diaspora, between those he terms "Righteous Jews" (i.e., those who favor universal human rights), and "the New Afrikaners" (i.e., those who will defend "greater Israel" no matter how it treats its Palestinian subjects).

I'm not as pessimistic as John is on this front (i.e., I think there is still a slim window open for a viable two-state solution, though the door is closing). In fact, I hope his speech turns out to be a "self-denying prophecy." In other words, if enough people are convinced by it, maybe they will act to head off the gloomy future that he foresees.  

Last week I raised the question of what the United States will do if the two-state solution in the Middle East becomes an impossibility. My compatriot John Mearsheimer has gone one step further, in a hard-hitting speech that you ought to read or watch. He believes the two-state solution is no longer possible, and that the next phase will be struggle for Palestinian rights within a "greater Israel." A key element of that struggle will be inside the Jewish Diaspora, between those he terms "Righteous Jews" (i.e., those who favor universal human rights), and "the New Afrikaners" (i.e., those who will defend "greater Israel" no matter how it treats its Palestinian subjects).

I’m not as pessimistic as John is on this front (i.e., I think there is still a slim window open for a viable two-state solution, though the door is closing). In fact, I hope his speech turns out to be a "self-denying prophecy." In other words, if enough people are convinced by it, maybe they will act to head off the gloomy future that he foresees.  

Stephen M. Walt is a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University. Twitter: @stephenwalt

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