In past decades, every presidential administration beginning with President Carter has attempted to secure peace for this terror-filled yet tiny land because doing so promises enhanced stability for the greater Middle East region. But despite billions of dollars in foreign aid, countless diplomatic visits, and thousands of man hours, no administration has found the magic formula for a lasting peace. For the past 12 weeks, we have sought to understand not only why past administrations have failed, but also how future administrations can spawn greater success. To this end, we traveled to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan in order to gain the perspectives of a cross-section of the people on the ground.
This memorandum begins by presenting the historical context of the conflict and past peace processes. We then discuss the Israeli and Palestinian narratives and key players on both sides before moving to U.S. interests and possible roles the United States can play in the conflict. Finally, this memorandum presents recommendations that aim to promote a two-state solution whereby the states of Israel and Palestine will be able to live side by side in peace. These recommendations can be divided into three main categories: U.S. Parameters and Promises, Actions to Improve the Environment for Peace, and Actions to Take During Peace Talks. The United States must approach this process with humility and patience. Peace will not happen overnight. It will likely take years. Overall, it continues to be in the best interests of the United States to play an active role in this conflict. It will require strong leadership and willing partners. At the end of the day, peace is possible and the United States must do all that it can to bring it about.