In the face of the Trump administration's apparent abandonment of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Americans for Peace Now (APN) urges Congress and presidential candidates to commit to supporting two states, and to reject Trump's departure from this long-held principal US policy objective.
The two-state solution -- a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, living side-by-side with Israel, in peace and security -- has been a key US foreign policy objective for the past two decades, advanced by both Democratic and Republican administrations. It has become the standard for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. Formally, this is still America's policy position regarding a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both Israelis and Palestinians prefer this solution over any other scenario. The prime minister of Israel endorsed it, and it has been the policy of the Palestinian leadership for over thirty years. The two-state solution enjoys an international consensus. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have come close to agreeing on a conflict-ending two-state formula.
Despite these facts, President Trump's envoys to the region are repeatedly and systematically rejecting the two-state solution, refusing to discuss it, acting to hinder it, and supporting Israeli government practices that are aimed at undermining prospects for it.
Last week in an interview with CNN, Trump's ambassador to Israel David Friedman said: "We believe in Palestinian autonomy . . . extended up until the point where it interferes with Israeli security."
Palestinian autonomy was America's policy forty years ago. In the past couple of decades, though, the US has worked to assist the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the nature and the borders of which would be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians. This policy is now being undermined by the Trump administration, which is attempting to turn back the clock to the state of unrestrained enmity that existed prior to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
The two-state solution is the only one that will safeguard Israel's character as a democracy and a Jewish state and the only one that serves America's regional interests. Politicians who care about Israel's future should endorse it and urge the Trump administration to adhere to it.
The two-state solution is one of several principles that APN, together with a coalition of progressive pro-Israel US groups, is urging candidates for office to endorse. To view these principles, click here.