Right in Israel Heralds Trump’s Non-Committal Stance on Two-State Solution as Dawn of ‘New Era’; Left Warns: One State Means No Jewish State
A prominent right-wing Israeli politician heralded the dawn of a “new era” on Wednesday following US President Donald Trump’s non-committal stance on the two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians.
“New ideas,” Habayit HaYehudi leader Naftali Bennett tweeted. “No need for 3rd Palestinian state beyond Jordan & Gaza. Big day for Israelis & reasonable Arabs. Congrats.”
A new era.
No need for 3rd Palestinian state beyond Jordan & Gaza.
Big day for Israelis & reasonable Arabs.
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) February 15, 2017
Standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a joint White House press conference on Wednesday, Trump said, “I’m looking at a two-state [solution] and one-state [solution] and I like the one that both parties like…I can live with either one.”
Trump, however, did call on Netanyahu to “hold back on settlements for a little bit” — something that was ignored in the celebratory responses of many Israeli rightists.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) said, “This is a very important day…The positions expressed by the president indicate an understanding that the two-state solution is not the only way to achieve peace and the time has come to flip the equation and put pressure on the Palestinian side — the rejectionist side — and send a clear message that a price will be paid for peace rejectionism and hate and violence education.”
Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) said, “Today marked the end of the two-state solution. A dangerous and erroneous idea — the establishment of a Palestinian terrorist state in the heart of the Land of Israel — is no more. President Trump understands that the two-state formula won’t bring peace to the Middle East and that other solutions must be found.”
Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) said, “The freeze era is over. The [construction] freeze in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) has ended. The freeze in US-Israel ties has ended. Today in Washington a new diplomatic era began.”
Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union), on the other hand, said, “It was sad and embarrassing to see Netanyahu twist about just to avoid the idea of separating from the Palestinians in the form of two states. 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. This is a very dangerous disaster and we will fight it every way possible.”
Also from the left, Meretz head Zehava Gal-On stated, “It doesn’t matter what Trump says and it doesn’t matter what he doesn’t say — Israel’s interest is the two-state solution. There is no other solution…that would keep Israel Jewish and democratic. All other solutions would ensure an apartheid state that would only serve Netanyahu’s desire to preserve his coalition and stay in power.”
Zionist Union MK and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had a more favorable view of the situation, saying, “This is a president who talks about peace and it makes me happy that he uses the term ‘deal.’ He said this is important to him. He didn’t say do whatever you want.”
Ex-Prime Minister Ehud Barak — a vocal Netanyahu critic — tweeted, “A hedgehog dance in Washington. Bibi is stressed by the directness of Trump, who is busy with other things. Surprises are on the way. A regional conference has been on the table for two years. This evening — another smokescreen.”
ריקוד קיפודים בוושינגטון. ביבי בלחץ מהישירות של טראמפ, שעסוק בדברים אחרים. הפתעות בדרך. ועידה אזורית על השולחן כבר שנתיים. הערב-עוד מסכי עשן
— אהוד ברק (@barak_ehud) February 15, 2017