Secretary of State John Kerry has been working tirelessly to launch a major new peace initiative between Israelis and Palestinians. The basis of any such effort, of course, has to be a two-state solution -- an independent Palestine existing in peace and security alongside Israel. But is this the policy of the government of Israel?
Some members of Prime Minister Netanyahu's governing coalition are openly stating not only that they do not personally believe in a two-state solution but that the two-state solution is not official government policy. They wrangled about it publicly in a parliamentary committee meeting this week.
Member of Knesset Reuven Rivlin (Likud) noted “substantial divides inside the government” on the question. And MK Orit Struck (Jewish Home) came right out and said “two states for two peoples is not the government’s official position." This confusion should be clarified immediately.
For there to be any hope of progress, the Israeli government must state unequivocally that support for a two-state solution is a core principle of its foreign policy – as it has been under every Prime Minister since Yitzhak Rabin.
A simple declarative statement by Prime Minister Netanyahu or Ambassador Michael Oren would dispel these doubts immediately. They need to speak out now.
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