Trump and Netanyahu just buried Palestinian statehood


Policy Director Josh Ruebner writes in The Hill that President Trump says he’d be happy with a one-state resolution if Israel and the Palestinians agree. But their competing one-state visions of apartheid versus equality can’t be reconciled.

On Wednesday, during their joint White House press briefing, President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hammered the final two nails in the coffin of Palestinian statehood and presided over the burial of the two-state paradigm for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Untethered from the pressures exerted on him during the Obama administration to pay lip service to the idea of Palestinian statehood, Netanyahu let loose his real feelings on the subject in the presence of a president far more sympathetic to his worldview.

The creation of a Palestinian state, Netanyahu thundered, would lead to “another failed state, another terrorist Islamist dictatorship that will not work for peace but work to destroy us.” Therefore, “in any peace agreement,” Netanyahu declared, “Israel must retain the overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River.”

In other words, in Netanyahu’s formulation, Israel will retain sovereignty over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip — those Palestinian territories militarily occupied by Israel for the past 50 years, areas which are supposed to form a future Palestinian state under the terms of previous negotiations.

For Trump, Netanyahu’s definitive discarding of Palestinian sovereignty was a matter of sublime indifference, notwithstanding two decades of declared bipartisan U.S. policy in support of Palestinian statehood. “So I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” Trump quipped.

Read more in The Hill.