Early December 2022, thinc. published “Two States for Two Peoples?” – a comprehensive study of the European Union’s approach to creating a Palestinian state. The report, launched in the European Parliament, explores the main features of the EU two-state policy, how it has failed so far, and how to proceed consistent with legal, historical, and political realities.
Our newest report exposes everything from flawed assumptions to double standards, extraordinary financial support, and strenuous diplomatic efforts.
Download the executive summary and view our press kit here.
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The EU two-state policy concerning the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is failing, despite a half-century of strenuous EU efforts expending tens of billions of euros to implement it. The reality of policy failure is discomforting but must be acknowledged.
Failure should provoke reflection: reasons need to be understood to avoid repeating mistakes and to construct a more successful policy for the future. The reasons for the failure of the EU ‘Two State Policy’ are serious but surprisingly obvious.
Three central false assumptions of wishful thinking lie at the base of the EU two-state policy: the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is territorial and not existential; East Jerusalem and the West Bank legally belong to the Palestinians; and the establishment of a democratic fully-fledged Palestinian state at peace beside Israel is realistic and feasible.
This report challenges these assumptions and recommends a new approach to enabling Palestinian autonomy, Israeli security, and regional stability. Palestinian rights to self-determination must be respected, but they may not be allowed to conflict with the fair and non-discriminatory application of international law, nor be allowed to undermine Israeli sovereignty or regional stability. Peace will never be achieved through agendas aimed at annihilation and destruction. The EU should focus on ensuring the rejection of extremism and mutual acceptance; the fair and equal application of international law to all actors in the region; and strengthening institutions of government based on the rule of law.
The authors of this report seek to stimulate vigorous debate on the EU approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and a better way forward for Europe’s engagement in the Middle East.
About the authors
Professor Wolfgang Bock studied Law and Political Science at the Universities of Geneva, Giessen and Frankfurt/Main. He has worked as judge at the Frankfurt/Main regional Court, as lecturer at the Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Marburg and as associate professor at the Justus Liebig University Giessen.
Andrew Tucker is a graduate of the Universities of Melbourne (BA, LLB) and Oxford (BCL). He has over 20 of years experience as an attorney in Australia, UK and Netherlands, advising governments and corporations mainly in the energy, transport and telecom sectors.
He is co-founder of thinc.
Gregory Rose is a Professor of Law at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) at the University of Wollongong, Australia. His expertise is in international law and his areas of research include international law relating to marine environmental governance and transnational environmental crime.