ECFR’s “Two State Stress Test”

Posted: December 13, 2013 by Rex Brynen in peace process
Tags: ,

logoThe European Council and Foreign Relations has launched the first of what is to be a series of periodic “two state stress test” reports

ECFR’s new innovative project – the Two State Stress Test provides an annual health-check on whether developments across seven different areas are serving to strain or sustain a possible two-state outcome for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The results of the 2013 assessment can be seen below on the Stress Test Mixer.Click on any category below to find out moreA summary of the key findings can be found  here. An explanation of the TSST can be found here and the entire test text in pdf format can be downloaded here

What are the main findings of the 2013 TSST?

At the moment the largest strain on prospects for the two-state outcome are presented by two categories (i) the territorial issue and particularly the continued expansion of Israeli settlements both in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem –at a conspicuously faster pace since peace talks resumed; and (ii) the dynamics of theIsraeli political and public debate which notably combine little public confidence in the talks with a cabinet and ruling coalition a number of whose influential members openly oppose two states and advocate variations on an annexation of the West Bank. This is only partially mitigated by  the public still broadly being supportive of a two-state outcome.

The factor that comes out as most sustaining the two-state solution at the moment is the renewed US-led diplomatic efforts. The Two State Stress Test indicates that a lessening of this intensity would leave the prospects for the two-state solution even more fragile.

Strains on the two state option are generated at a lesser but notable level from all other categories – a gradually worsening situation in Jerusalem and on securityquestions, and by two factors less frequently taken into consideration: the Palestinian political and public debate and the refugee issue.


Although I served as a member of the expert advisory committee for the TSST, final judgments and scorings were made by the ECFR.

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