Palestinian support for two-state solution drops, poll finds

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 17, 2017

While Guterres reiterated on Wednesday in Cairo, the final destination of his first regional tour, that "there is no plan B for the two-state solution", Trump was reassuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over unlimited USA support. "Anybody that wants to say the United States does not support a two-state solution, that would be an error".

The president aired his stand on Wednesday during a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was on a two-day visit in Washington DC.

The diplomatic strategy, which envisions an Israeli nation and a Palestinian nation existing side by side, has been the cornerstone of US policy since the Clinton administration, although Trump said Wednesday that he is willing to abandon it if Israel and the Palestinians can produce a better plan.

The US President said he is "looking at two-states and one-state", and likes "the one both parties like", adding that he "can live with either one".

The Palestinian National Initiative, he said, has always demanded a one-state solution with equal "democratic rights for Jewish, Christian and Muslim Palestinians".

Confident in Trump's support, the Israeli government recently announced plans to build about 6,000 Jewish settlement housing units in the West Bank. In Israel, right-wingers cheered and left-wingers lamented what sounded like a death knell for the two-state solution. But if and when the current circumstances change, it can be resuscitated, at Israeli and Palestinian discretion.

Delivered in a remarkably nonchalant manner, Trump's was a dramatic statement that appeared to upend decades of USA foreign policy.

A senior White House official said on Tuesday peace did not necessarily have to entail Palestinian statehood, and US President Donald Trump would not try to "dictate" a solution. Every Israeli should be concerned tonight about the very concept of one state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, which means no Jewish state.

Creating a single, unitary state would likely involve Israel formally annexing Palestinian land in the West Bank and possibly the Gaza Strip.

Friedman repeated the Israeli argument that a major impediment to peace is that the Palestinians don't have leaders with whom Israel can negotiate.

He said that the groundwork for such an accord was reached at the 1993 Oslo talks between Israel's then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian reaction to Trump's comment was to threaten violence.

Nevertheless, an October 2016 opinion poll of 1,362 West Bank and Gazans by the West Bank's A-Najah University showed that "46.1 percent of respondents supported the creation of a confederation with Jordan on the basis of two independent states with strong institutional relations".

Said Friedman, at a Senate panel confirmation hearing, "It still remains the best possibility of peace in the region".

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