Donald Trump & Benjamin Netanyahu’s Press Conference

16 February 2017: Statement on Donald Trump & Benjamin Netanyahu’s press conference

“So I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like.”

Yesterday, President Trump appeared to back away from decades of US and international commitment to the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is unclear exactly what he meant, but what is clear is that there is no “one-state solution” that can satisfy both the annexationists who populate Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition and the majority of both Palestinians and Israelis. There will be no political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that does not guarantee full, basic rights and self-determination to both Israelis and Palestinians. There will be no resolution to the conflict without an end to Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, and without freedom and security for both peoples. President Trump may be new to peacemaking, but he will have to learn, quickly, or he will oversee disaster.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, responding to the same question as President Trump on the two-state solution, said, “rather than deal with labels, I want to deal with substance.” But there is nothing more substantive than the basic question of what a resolution to the conflict looks like. There is no “one-state solution” that does not spell the end for Israel, either as a democracy or as a Jewish state, and it is worrying, to say the least, that Israel’s Prime Minister considers the basic tenet of Zionism – Jewish self-determination – to be nothing more than a “label”, which can be discarded for the sake of political expediency.

We are entering a new era in the struggle for a political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an era where the basic principles of the last 25 years of peacemaking are no longer certain. Yachad will be here, day in, day out, standing up to support the millions of ordinary Israelis and Palestinians who want to live in peace, even when world leaders seem to prefer grandstanding about a “big deal” to dealing with the substantive reality of the conflict.

You can read the full transcript of the press conference, given in Washington DC on 15 February 2017, here 

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