Despite Trump’s indifference, the two-state solution isn’t dead… yet


PM Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump at the White House, February 15, 2017 (Avi Ohayun/GPO)
PM Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump at the White House, February 15, 2017 (Avi Ohayun/GPO)
Netanyahu won’t say the words, and Abbas won’t come to the talks, but it’s still the two-state deal, and no other, that they’re not doing

By Raphael Ahren | The Times of Israel

Theodor Herzl, the founding father of political Zionism, famously said of a revived Jewish homeland, “If you will it, it is no dream.”

Nearly 70 years after Herzl’s vision became a reality with the founding of the State of Israel, Donald Trump on Wednesday said that, if you will it, the Jewish state can be turned into a binational Jewish-Arab state. Whatever you guys want.

“I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” the American president said at a press conference in the White House, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood alongside him, chuckling. “I can live with either one.”

Delivered in a remarkably nonchalant manner, Trump’s was a dramatic statement that appeared to upend decades of US foreign policy. In Israel, right-wingers cheered and left-wingers lamented what sounded like a death knell for the two-state solution.

But the truth is that while Palestinian aspirations for an independent state took a hit on Wednesday, it isn’t time to bury the two-state solution just yet. It may have been deep-frozen. But if and when the current circumstances change, it can be resuscitated, at Israeli and Palestinian discretion. It’s diplomatic cryonics, Middle East-style.

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