J Street is following with close interest President Trump’s dispatch of Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt to meetings this week with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas. It is the latest indication that the new administration has made the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a major focus of its early foreign policy and diplomatic efforts.
J Street also takes note of President Trump’s recent phone call with President Abbas. In the call, the president reportedly extended an invitation to the Palestinian leader to visit the White House and “confirmed his full commitment to the peace process.” It is vital that the US administration recognizes the role that the Palestinian Authority can and must play in any efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement.
Moving forward, the Trump administration must make clear, as it so far has not at least publicly, that the US firmly supports a two-state solution and that the two-state framework is the only viable route to peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
As the presidential envoy meets with both parties, he should refrain from legitimizing any actions that could undermine the two-state solution, including settlement construction and expansion. No private understandings or agreements between the US and either party can stand in for serious negotiations that respect the rights and needs of both sides.