Elastic, adaptable and vibrant, minorities often stretch across state borders in ways traditional concepts of states and nations fail to acknowledge, let alone theorize. The discourse of transnationalism helps to dislodge the study of minorities from the analytical straight-jacket of the state. The concept of 'trapped minority', developed herein from an analysis of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, adds to this debate. A trapped minority is a segment of a larger group spread across at least two states. Citizens of a state hegemonized by others, its members are alienated from political power. Unable to influence the definition of public goods or enjoy them, its members are at the same time marginal within their mother nation abroad. My use of the concept of 'trapped minority' offers a critique of Smooha's rationalized concept 'ethnic democracy' (1990) and of Yiftachel's ethno-regionalism (1999a, after Hechter and Levi 1979), a critique that helps to re-frame and critique the Oslo-Wye process of Israel-Palestinian reconciliation and is relevant to similar situations elsewhere.