Robert Wexler, Head of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace & former Congressman
Robert Dölger, Head of Near East division, Federal Foreign Office
Muriel Asseburg, Senior Fellow, Research Unit Middle East and Africa, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
Mattia Toaldo, Visiting Fellow, ECFR MENA programme
Olaf Boehnke, Head of ECFR Berlin
“America, Europe and the Vanishing Two State Prospect for Israel/Palestine”
Thursday, 27th of 2013
Venue: Quadriga Forum Berlin
Werderscher Markt 13
New US secretary of State John Kerry has made this topic a priority- four visits in four months- trying to re-launch talks and has spoken of the closing window of perhaps one and a half years to achieve a two state solution for Israel/Palestine. This is at the same time as Europeans are also decrying how developments on the ground and notably settlement entrenchment are making the likelihood of a Palestinian state ever less viable and are slowly edging towards distinguishing more clearly between Israel and the occupied territories in their own policies. Yet scepticism surrounds the new American push from all sides.
The ECFR publication “Europe and the vanishing two-state solution” by Nick Witney was the basis of the second session. The publication attempts to break new ground on how Europeans might better realize the twin efforts of restraining Israeli actions that undermine the two state option while sustaining the viability of Palestinian statehood. Beyond that this publication looks at how the current unlikely combination of futility and urgency pervading policy-making circles might be reconfigured to create a space for a political breakthrough. Especially the question of the European position towards this issue was discussed.