A brief hopeful moment in which President Trump was seen as the Middle East’s unlikely peace broker has ended for dovish Israel-focused organizations now that the administration has made clear it does not intend to embrace the two-state solution.
In advance of American negotiators arriving in the region, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert refused to say on Wednesday that the Trump administration supports such a vision, saying that their stance was so that the White House would “not really bias one side over the other.” Palestinian officials complained that Trump’s envoys, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, refused to commit to longstanding American policy that any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement should be based on establishing an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.
In a harsh statement following the American negotiating team’s talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah, the left-leaning lobby group J Street accused the Trump administration of “dangerous ignorance about the nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and what it will take to end it.” Americans for Peace Now, another Jewish group advocating for a two-state solution, expressed its “outrage,” stating that “extremists on both sides have been trying to discredit the two-state vision since it was internationally adopted. Now they have a partner in the White House.” The Israel Policy Forum called the administration’s position “troubling” and said it lacks a “coherent vision.”
Trump said in a White House press conference with Netanyahu in February that “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.”
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Pro-Peace Groups Slam Trump On Two-State Solution