Prior to the Trump administration’s 2019 peace proposal, what Eran Lerman dubs the “Everybody Knows Paradigm” for addressing the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians came to dominate in American and European foreign-policy circles. Claiming that “everybody knows” what is necessary to make peace, the plan’s supporters call for Israel to withdraw from almost all of the West Bank, retaining a few small areas for which it will compensate the Palestinian Authority with land it has held since 1949. Lerman explains that such a proposal cannot be the basis for serious negotiations:
Failure to advance peace based on the Everybody Knows Paradigm is in part the result of the firm opposition of most Israelis to a “solution” that would require relinquishing key strategic areas of the West Bank, forcibly uprooting hundreds of thousands of people from their homes in Judea and Samaria (Israel’s biblical homeland); carving up the living city of Jerusalem; and responding to Palestinian demands for the so-called “right of return,” [i.e., a right for descendants of refugees from the War of Independence to citizenship not in Palestinian state, but in the Jewish one]. Such propositions are unacceptable to a broad consensus of Israeli public opinion, regardless of who wins future Israeli elections.
However, the mainstream of Israeli opinion . . . would be willing to accept a two-state solution (or a so-called “state-minus” situation) with an emphasis on Palestinian demilitarization if key Israeli security interests were protected and the dislocation of settlers were reduced to a minimum. But such an accommodation seems inconceivable, given that the Palestinians adamantly refuse to consider any Jewish minority in their midst.
This will continue to be so, because such positions create an altogether unrealistic anticipation on the Palestinian side of a solution imposed by the international community rather than a solution negotiated with Israel. . . . Such expectations are already being fed by the decision of the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor to launch an investigation into the possibility that war crimes have been committed in “Palestine,” [which the court defines as] all the territories beyond the June 4, 1967 lines, including parts of Jerusalem. When such a definition by an international institution is dangled in front of them, which Palestinian leaders will be bold enough to settle for less at the negotiating table?