A Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel is the sine qua non of a stable peace between Arabs and Israelis, and at this late date would realize a modicum of the Palestinians' moral and legal territorial rights (roughly equal to those of the Jews/Israelis), and a long-standing aspiration for self-determination. A defense of the "two-state" option, and a qualified defense of the Oslo Accords against Islamist and radical Jewish rejectionist critics is therefore offered. Besides satisfying Palestinian aspirations, Palestinian statehood would help open the way to a comprehensive peace between the Arabs and Israel, through a just, negotiated settlement of the Syrian/Lebanese-Israeli territorial disputes. A comprehensive peace, in turn, should stimulate economic and cultural cooperation between Israel and the Arab countries (the "peace dividend"), lending it additional strength. Increased stability should also result from the hoped-for liberalization and democratization of the region's Arab regimes.
Haig Khatchadourian is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukie. He received his PhD in philosophy from Duke University and has been awarded several prizes for poetry and literary essays. In 1973 he received the Outstanding Educator of America Award.