Possible Benefits of American Parameters for the Two-State Solution

October 2016
Policy Papers and Reports / The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

As US President Barack Obama’s term in office is nearing its end, he may choose to present parameters for an Israeli-Palestinian final-status agreement before departing from the White House, similar to what President Bill Clinton did in 2000. The window of opportunity for this is between the US presidential elections (November 8, 2016) to the inauguration of the next president (January 20, 2017).

Should President Obama indeed decide to introduce parameters for a two-state solution, he has several options for doing so. He can deliver a presidential speech and leave it at that; or, he can bring the content of the speech to non-binding ratification in a multinational body or forum (such as the Quartet or an international peace conference). He can also bring those parameters as a proposal for a binding resolution in the UN’s Security Council. Also, the US president has at his disposal different options regarding the wording of the parameters themselves. President Obama can limit himself to a general text, or formulate a more detailed one; he can try to reconcile both sides by using relatively softened wording, or use more assertive wording to challenge the positions of the current Israeli and Palestinian leaderships.

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