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Abstract

The primary problem in reaching a peaceful arrangement between the Israelis and the Palestinians is that a significant number of people on both sides reject dividing the land between the Mediterranean and Jordan (the two-state solution), and neither local government (not the Israelis nor the Palestinians) can control their own rejectionists. As long as any "solution" assumes that the local governments will be able to confront these rejectionists, that plan will fail. The only way around this is with the use of an international coalition composed, at least, of the United States, the EU, the UN, and Arab countries. The coalition must declare its immediate willingness to use diplomatic, economic, and military pressure to achieve three goals simultaneously: Ending the use of violence; removing a large number of settlements; and agreeing up front to the plan outlined by President Clinton and negotiated at Taba. This plan has difficulties, but it can work because there is now an international consensus opposing the use of terror, opposing the presence of settlements, and favoring the two-state agreement all but agreed to at Taba. And this consensus is supported by substantial majorities of Israelis and Palestinians. It is the rejectionists on both sides who block it and who must be confronted.

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