Two States in One Space

IPCRI has developed an alternative solution to the conflict based on the current political and social realities in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. This alternative idea examines the possibility of having two states living side-by-side under a confederative-like paradigm.

About a Israeli-Palestinian Confederative Framework

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the longest lasting conflicts in the world. It is also a conflict that contains dangerous potential to export itself worldwide. Though there have been repeated attempts at negotiations, the peace process has been in a deadlock for years while the situation on the ground is getting worse. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, leaders have been pushing for a two-state solution that includes physical separation through barriers. The occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people continues on many levels. At the same time, the de facto situation of a one state without a process jeopardizes Israel's status as a Jewish and democratic state.

Without progress and with a real possibility of the collapse of the Palestinian Authority or President Abbas "giving back the keys," Israel will be faced with a choice of either granting citizenship and political rights to 2.5 million Palestinians and face the possibility of a demographic shift that will end the Jewish nature of the country, or much more likely, it will maintain discrimination against those Palestinians and stop being a democracy.

To date, the only peace process the parties have entered into with an actual outcome were the negotiations which resulted in the Oslo Accords. Since then, the only resolution to the conflict that has been investigated seriously and thoroughly is an Oslo-style two-state solution. Twenty years after Oslo, there is no peace, no resolution, and new realities on the ground leave less room for the path envisaged back then. This requires a re-examination of the peace process and the possibility to approach the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict differently. IPCRI believes that it is more important to come to the solution that is most feasible, rather than to continue pushing for a solution that has been unsuccessful for so many years.

The formula of "two states for two peoples" is still the best solution to answer the desire of both peoples for self-determination. Any other solution, mainly a one-state or bi-national one state, requires the two nations to forgo their national aspirations. At the same time, a solution of two separated states - that includes walls, barriers and no possibility for the Palestinians to prosper, no freedom of movement for neither Palestinians nor Israelis, and no possibility for normalized relations of Israel with the rest of the Middle East - is not likely to produce a just, viable and sustainable solution and thus has a good chance to fail in the long run.

The answer to these issues may be found in the form of a confederative framework. Two states in One Space, a confederative framework consisting of the sovereign State of Israel and a sovereign State of Palestine could provide the Palestinians with self-determination, an end to the occupation, a place to practice their individual and collective rights and aspirations, freedom of movement and an acceptable answer to the plight of the refugees, while, at the same time, provide Israel a guarantee for a state with a Jewish majority, safety and security, and acceptance in the region.

We believe that a confederative framework can gain support from people from both sides within the whole political spectrum, because it answers to both the need for self-determination and the connection of both peoples to all the land of Israel/Palestine. This research project will bring together Israeli and Palestinian experts in ten working groups that will generate proposals to solve issues relating to establishing two undivided states within a confederative-like framework.

Working groups will develop specific policy recommendations related to:

  1. Governance
  2. Residence, citizenship and collective rights
  3. Borders
  4. Security
  5. Gaza Strip
  6. Economic Union
  7. Jerusalem
  8. Resources and Environment
  9. Reconciliation
  10. The region

The idea has been well received in the Palestinian Territories by representatives from various PA ministries, civil society leaders, members of the negotiation team, and young grassroots movements. In Israel the idea has been well received by people affiliated with political parties from far right to far left - including Likud - and civil society leaders, - including senior members of the settler movement and peace NGOs. Among the international community various diplomats, most notably Egypt, have expressed their interest in this alternative solution to us. Among this heterogeneous group of representatives from both societies IPCRI has identified a strong willingness and motivation to examine this idea of a confederative framework.

Where we stand now

IPCRI received international commitments for the project to start in 2014. IPCRI researched confederations in different geopolitical areas and collected background information about each of the ten working group topics. The plans developed in this project provide a solid basis for a roadmap to peace, and be a good opportunity to break the current deadlock.

IPCRI would like to turn this project into a popular effort. The general vision, as well as the specific plans for the 10 identified issues, have been made available publicly, both in print and online. IPCRI will use the developed plans to support peace negotiations by providing an alternative to decision-makers that say the Oslo Accords are dead. This has the potential to become the foundation for a just and sustainable peace in the Middle East, and positively affect the lives of millions.

Learn more about an Israeli-Palestinian Confederative Framework

In this video Dan Goldenblatt, co-director of IPCRI explains the idea of a confederated solution in a lecture to students of the Florida International University.

IPCRI's Research and Information

Through our “Research and Information” projects, IPCRI aims to develop and advocate practical political solutions to decision-makers and officials concerning the most divisive issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict such as Jerusalem, borders, settlements and security. We also aim to strengthen the support base for peace through our innovative ideas and Track II Diplomacy efforts, which bring together prominent Israelis and Palestinians for joint cooperation. Our activities stimulate debate and inform the public about the possibilities for peace and include research projects, roundtable discussions, conferences, and public forums, which encourage creative problem solving and promote mutual interests.