President Donald Trump on Wednesday ended a long-standing U.S. commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state, saying he had no preference for either a one-state or two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trump’s comment came during a joint news conference at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
President Donald Trump: “So I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one. I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two. But honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestinians—if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”
Israel continues to annex Palestinian lands to construct Jewish-only settlements, leading many observers, including former Secretary of State John Kerry, to say a two-state solution may no longer be viable. But Trump’s remarks represented a break from 20 years of official U.S. support for a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In the West Bank, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat responded to President Trump’s comments.
Saeb Erekat: “Those who believe that they can undermine the two-state solution and replace it with what I call one state, two systems—maintaining the status quo now, apartheid—I don’t think in the 21st century they will get away with it.”
In a statement, the group Jewish Voice for Peace said, “Today Trump and Netanyahu spoke of their 'shared values' of democracy and respect for human rights. These are alternative facts. Their 'shared values' are in reality a shared agenda of walls, militarism, xenophobia, racism, anti-Muslim bigotry, and borders closed to refugees.”