horit herman peled & yoav peled
Confronting the Death of the Two-State Solution
The social sector once famously described as Israel’s ‘enlightened public’ has undergone a profound moral and intellectual crisis over the past ten years.  The epithet was coined by Israel’s former Chief Justice, Aharon Barak. Comprised largely of secular, educated and well-to-do Ashkenazim, historically affiliated with the Labour Zionist movement, this layer had been shaped by opposition to Israel’s occupation of the territories captured in 1967 and stood for a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The demise of the Oslo peace process at Camp David in July 2000, the Second Intifada that followed it—marked not least by the Palestinians’ resort to suicide bombings—and the election of Ariel Sharon as Israel’s Prime Minister in 2001 threw this perspective into question. Most members of the ‘enlightened public’ reacted by moving to the right and adopting the prevailing state discourse which portrayed the Palestinians as responsible for the failure of the peace efforts; the historian Benny Morris was a celebrated example of this shift.
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