The US, EU, UN and Arab League as well as Israeli and Palestinian leaders themselves have all endorsed the idea that the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be resolved by way of a two-state outcome. Realisation hinges on certain conditions.

At the end of 2013, ECFR launched an annual "Two State Stress Test", which provides a comprehensive assessment of the key issues that would make or break a two-state outcome between Israel and Palestine. Developments across seven different areas are serving to strain or sustain a possible two-state outcome for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The TSST is based on an innovative methodology that allows policy makers to assess the progress towards and the regression away from the goal of a two-state solution. Here are the main findings of the 2013 TSST including a summary of the key findings, an explanation of the TSST methodology, a factsheet and a series of maps and graphs.The TSST is also a availble in Hebrew and Arabic.


the Middle East and the future of Israel/the critical process in building each and every institution | Balfourt project | HISTORY OF MIDDLE EASTERN POLITICS |
  the Middle East and the future of Israel / the critical process in building each and every institution
On the campus of the ASPEN Institute Israel Ambassador Michael B. Oren spoke frankly about the Middle East and the future of Israel. While Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad talked in 2009 about the critical process by which people must engage in building each and every institution that eventually makes up a viable state.
There were discussions about the issue of settlements, the need for Israel to be recognized as a Jewish state and examples of existential threats to Israel’s existence. 
Oren in discussion illustrated the need for the change in the hateful PA education and programming

Ambassador Oren made reference to his article: … “The State of Israel copes not only with one but with at least seven existential threats on a daily basis. These threats are extraordinary not only for their number but also for their diversity.
In addition to external military dangers from hostile regimes and organizations, the Jewish State is endangered by domestic opposition, demographic trends, and the erosion of core values

Leaders in politics, economics, history and culture were gathered to discuss and debate the Middle East, with a special emphasis on comprehending the current challenges to peace. Viewed were ideas and initiatives now underway - such as new policies, reforms, negotations and economic development proposals - that could ease tensions, strengthen relationships across borders and perhaps even help effect a lasting peace. 'In fact the kind of state that we want to have, that we aspire to have, is one that would definitely espouse high values of tolerance, co-existence, mutual respect and deference to all cultures, religions. No discrimination whatsoever, on any basis whatsoever.

Israel Ambassador Michael B. Oren
"An oppressed nation has the right to say it has been enough. You may not expect from nobody who put up with injustice, certainly not the Palestines, who suffered from occupation decennia long. Is that not where Gandhi stand for, where Martin Luther King stand for?" (Ha'artez, 2-4-2010).

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad talked during the Aspen Ideas Fest in 2009 about the critical process by which people must engage in building each and every institution that eventually makes up a viable state

Salam Fayyad: I think what he has is the benefit of the experience of the past attempts at making peace in the Middle East. I mean, style is always an integral part of the equation, certainly. But the substance of it, I believe, and what I believe is driving it is the benefit of experience of nearly 16 years of trying to do this unsuccessfully. And I say this analytically. And I say this because of what I perceive to be as a matter of very sharp focus on what I call elements of success, rather than just on the grand picture of getting there.

As one of my professors in economics was fond of saying, you need to have potatoes to make potato chips. The potatoes from the Palestinian point of view are the institutions capable of delivering good governance to the Palestinian people—the institutions of the Palestinian state in the making: … security, law and order, justice, public finance, economic management, welfare, all of the functions that any responsible state should feel obligated to deliver to its citizens in all spheres of governance. This is about building toward statehood.

You know, the Americans [and] the international community asked that the roadmap report: They want these reforms, they want the PA to do all of these things. And my message all along to people was: The world wants us to have a good public finance system, but is that against our interest? What’s wrong with that? Let’s do that. I mean, we need to do it.

The Middle East: in conversation with Salam Fayyad in 2009
Ladies and gentlemen, every time we take a step in the direction of having a function of a state perform competently, … with every step that we take in the direction of institution building, that’s a step closer to our freedom, to our statehood; that’s what it is about. Therefore, that’s what really drives this process. These happen to be our potatoes, so to speak. These happen to be our obligations under the roadmap. The roadmap is about security. It’s about security for Israel; but it’s about security for Palestinians, [too]. It’s about governance. It’s about ensuring the capacity of Palestinian people to govern themselves in all facets and spheres of governance, including security. That’s what this is about. And that’s why we took it upon ourselves—particularly after what happened to us in 2007 with the fall of Gaza to Hamas, with the West Bank being under such a state of complete and utter lawlessness—to actually be serious about state-building, get people to rally around the cores of state-building. You know, if this is about statehood, then let us build toward that.

I do not need anyone to remind me that we’re doing it under occupation. I know that. But we are doing it because we are under occupation, in spite of the occupation, to end it. We [have to] create the state as a fact on the ground in a positive way—in response to adversity, in spite of the adversity, to end the adversity. So that two years from now, … I hope it will not be difficult for anyone to look toward us and come to the conclusion: Indeed the Palestinians do have a state, but for the occupation. … If we do that, we’ll have succeeded. That’s our message. It’s a progressive message, it’s a positive message.

Fayyad: You know, I can only hope so. And I really would hate to think that the politics from either side would continue to drive this process forever in the wrong direction, because a good part of the failure is due to that and is due to time wasted on speculating whether or not there is a partner here or there is a partner there. … Let’s all measure up; let’s all do what we all have to do. And each focus on those requirements—look, the roadmap did not say who begins what first when. It said, You Palestinians have to do this; you Israelis have to do that. A lot of time was wasted on who goes first and who goes second and all of that. And we all paid dearly for it; Israelis and Palestinians alike. … Indeed, the world at large. So I call on Israeli leadership to basically do what has to be done. I call on us to do what we have to do. And what I like about the new paradigm, if it is that and I hope it is, is for us both to be expected to deliver. … The bar has to be raised. We both should act with much greater sense of urgency. We both should feel accountable. Look, we can’t do it alone


Till WW-I the greater part of the Middle East belonged to the Ottoman empire, governed by the Turkish sultan in Istanbul. In 1914 the sultan choosed German side. For more understanding of the historical context, Cushing Academy submitted 25 February 2011 A SELECT BRIEF OF HISTORY OF MIDDLE EASTERN POLITICS.

  promises, agreements, declaration
1915: promise of an Arab kingdom to shariff Hoessein of Mekka

1916: Sykes-Picot agreement: partition of the regio in French and British spheres of influence

1917: Balfour declaration: a jewish national home in Palestina

1920: Treaty of San Remo: Syria and Libanon became a French mandate, Palestine, Joran and Iraq British mandate (Egypt was already in the hands of the British, Northern Africa for the greater part French and the Arabian peninsula independent)

1922: English treaty mandate, which provided to ensure Jews throughout Palestine, when Israel and the West Bank, would have the right to close settlement

1945: the Quincy meeting, that means a determination to assert US influence in a zone which is strategic to America security, the strengthening of energy security, the fight against terrorist groups, a determination to contain Iranian influence and a firm commitment to Israel's security

1947: UN partition plan for Palestine

1948: After the proclaim of the state of Israel the Arab states attacked, followed by the independence war, during which Israel extended their territory. Jordan captured the West Bank and Egypt the Gaza strip.

1949: Armistice Agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israel and the Jordanian-held West Bank, also known as the Green Line.

1956: Suez crisis. Egypt (Nasser) nationalized the Suez Canal. After that there followed a combined attack by Israel, United Kingdom and France. Under great pressure by the US and USSR the attackers had to pull back

1967: June 6-Days war. The barrier by Egypt of the Street of Tiran for Israelian shipping is the motive for an Israelian attack on Arab neighbourhood-states. Israel captured on Egypt the Sinai desert (till the Suez Canal) and the Gaza Strip (Palestinian), on Jordan the West Bank including East Jerusalem, on Syria the strategic Golan Heights

1973: October Jom Kippoer war. Unexpected attack by Egypt and Syria to re-capture Sinai and Golan. During the war Arab oil states causes the so called first oil crisis. The war ends by the intervention by the Great Powers in a militairy deadlock

1967: the rise of Palestine nationalism (international terrorism, Jordan civil war in 1970, start of Libanon civil war in 1975)

1977: in the occupied territories the Likoed governments (Begin) started to build jewish settlements.
The historic visit to Jerusalem of the Egypt president Sadat directed to the Camp David arrangements

1979: peace treaty between Egypt and Israel

1982: June Extended Israelian invasion in Libanon directed to the siege of Beirut, the retreat of the PLO (to Tunis) and massacres in Sabra and Chatilia

1985: Israel's pull back from Beirut, except the security line in the South

1987: December the start of the Intifada (Palestinian revolt) in the Gaza Strip

1991: after the Gulf war (Iraq attacks Israel with scuds) the Madrid conference was arranged under pressure of the USA. The result of this was a separate peace deliberation between Israel and the Arab states

1993: after secret negotations in Oslo, Israel and the PLO signed in Washington in September an agreement of principles

1994: Arafat settled in Gaza a Palestinian National Authority and Israel and Jordan signed in September a peace treaty

1995: Rabin murdered in November

1996: stagnation in the peace process till 1999 (Netanyahu)

2000: Camp David summit (July/August) between Barak and Arafat failed. A visist of Sharon in September to the Temple Mount leads to the second Intifada (Palestinian attacks by self murders and Israelian recaptured of Palestinian territory)

2003: Roadmap to the peace of the Quartet (USA, EU, Russia and the UN), to stop all settlement-activities

2007: Annapolis agreement, which confirmed the obligation from 2003 to stop all settlement-activities

2012: UN voted on a resolution to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority to a non-member observer state

2013: launch Two State stress test, a new online tool that provides a comprehensive assessment of the key issues that would make or break a two-state outcome between Israel and Palestine

2020: Israel and the Arab World Are Making Peace