Israel is urging US not to talk publicly about two-state solution

T. Belman. This article suggests that Netanyahu is among them but in reality he is the main voice trashing the TSS and the PA, Gantz, Lapid and Herzog don’t want it talked about because they support if but the people don’t.

But in reality,now is not the time for discussing the day after nor who is culpable for Israel’s failure to protect Israelis. Israel should not talk about either until after Hamas is defeated. There is time enough to discuss it once that happens. But Biden wants to talk about it now while the war progresses because he has more leverage against Bibi now. He wants a commitment.

Request not just being made by PM, but Herzog, Gantz and Lapid as well, who argue that framework has no support post Oct. 7; US official says Washington in no position to heed call

By JACOB MAGID, TOI     15 December 2023, at 2:36 pm

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second right, confers with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, right, during their meeting with US President Joe Biden, left, to discuss the war between Israel and Hamas, in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Pool Photo via AP)

WASHINGTON — Israeli leaders have been privately urging the Biden administration to refrain from publicly talking about the two-state solution in the fallout of Hamas’s October 7 terror onslaught, four Israeli and US officials told The Times of Israel this week.

The message is not just being voiced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose resonance is more limited since Washington is convinced he has been engaged in a “politically motivated campaign” on the matter, a US official said. Other war cabinet members including Benny Gantz, President Isaac Herzog and even Opposition chairman Yair Lapid have also conveyed their discomfort with the Biden administration’s revived rhetoric regarding the need for a two-state solution since the war’s outbreak, according to two Israeli officials.

“A two-state solution after what happened on October 7 is a reward to Hamas,” said one of the Israeli officials, referencing the terror group’s shock attack, in which 1,200 were massacred and some 240 were taken hostage in Gaza.

“Netanyahu is the one saying it loudly and bluntly, but there truly isn’t any appetite right now in Israel across the political spectrum for the idea of two states,” the official added.

Even before the war, Gantz spoke about a “two-entity solution,” carefully avoiding use of the term “state” to characterize the Palestinian entity he’ll agree to.

“It is clear to both us and our partners that the old concepts, and the reality of the past decades, need to change and be forward-looking,” he said in a speech Thursday night.

“What I want to urge is against just saying ‘two-state solution’. Why? Because there is an emotional chapter here that must be dealt with. My nation is bereaving. My nation is in trauma,” Herzog said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Lapid, who expressed support for a two-state solution while serving as prime minister last year, has also evaded the phrase since October 7.

In a lengthy post published earlier this month on his post-war diplomatic vision, the opposition leader left a role for the PA to play in Gaza but later specified that it could not include PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

While Lapid and Gantz are similarly unenthusiastic about the idea of a two-state solution, they’ve voiced their concerns behind closed doors and have called out Netanyahu for “manufacturing disputes” with the Biden administration on the matter.

For the past month and a half, Netanyahu has gradually intensified his rhetoric against the PA, telling lawmakers last week that the only difference between it and Hamas is that the latter wants to destroy Israel immediately while the former merely wants to do so in stages.

The campaign against Ramallah has infuriated the Biden administration, which has provided Israel with massive military and diplomatic backing since the war while arguing that the effort to remove Hamas should pave the way for an eventual return of the PA to Gaza followed by a renewed effort to negotiate a two-state solution.

Netanyahu is “a good friend, but I think he has to change,” Biden said at a campaign fundraiser on Tuesday. “You cannot say there’s no Palestinian state at all in the future.”

“We have to work toward bringing Israel together in a way that provides for the beginning of… a two-state solution,” he added.

The top Biden administration aide notably avoided mentioning the two-state solution in both a lengthy interview he gave to Channel 12 in Tel Aviv and in the readout from his office on his meetings with Israeli leaders on Thursday.

But in a Friday press conference, he capped off an opening statement by declaring, “I have and will continue to state President Biden’s commitment to preserving space for peace, for a two-state solution where Israel’s security is guaranteed.”

Back in Washington, two top administration spokesmen also continued to employ talking points in favor of the paradigm.

“We still adhere to the promise and the vision of a two-state solution,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Thursday.

In the State Department, Spokesman Matt Miller echoed the message, saying, “The October 7th attacks should have been a wake-up call to everyone… that there needs to be a solution moving forward that addresses the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people while providing security to the Israeli people. We think the best way to achieve that is the establishment of an independent Palestinian state… We make that clear privately, we make that clear publicly, and it’s something we’ll continue to engage with the Israeli government about.”

A US official confirmed to The Times of Israel that there has indeed been a multi-front effort to convince the Biden administration to tone down the public rhetoric regarding the need for a two-state solution, but they said that Washington has no intention to budge.

“We have our own domestic politics and our global diplomatic standing to take into account,” the official says. “We’re doing a lot for Israel, and they need to understand this is something we need to do.”

Gantz’s and Lapid’s offices declined to comment on this story, while Netanyahu’s office did not respond to a query on the matter.

December 16, 2023 | 2 Comments »

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  1. The TSS is already in place. The two states are called Israel and Jordan. Even king Hussein saw the writing on the wall and said he wanted nothing more to do with the Israeli land west of the river. Someone needs to put some caffeine in Biden’s coffee so he can wake up to the fact. If the US insists on limiting supplies to Israel, they will also need to accept that there will be no further benefits from their Israeli allies either. Of course, some stupid Israeli politicians will try for a while until they are slapped down by clearer heads.

  2. Biden is wrong you can say there is no Palestinian State in the future. Biden and his people maybe oblivious to the fact that two states is a formula for war from less for Israel.

    Why would Israel agree to that? Israelis in mass want no part of it even in theory.