J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement in response to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech yesterday at the West Bank settlement of Barkan, in which he promised “There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel. It has been proven that it does not help peace … We will deepen our roots, build, strengthen and settle”:
“As the Trump administration has walked back longstanding bipartisan US policy by refusing to back the two-state solution, Prime Minister Netanyahu made clear once again yesterday that his government has no intention of ever allowing the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank.”
“In a speech clearly designed to pander to his base in the far-right settlement movement, the prime minister showed that he is committed solely to his own short-term political survival – at the expense of the national interests of his country.”
“It is no accident that the prime minister’s open rejection of the two-state solution has grown bolder since President Trump took office. By refusing to support two states or to seriously oppose settlement expansion, the Trump administration has given the Israeli government the green light to entrench the occupation and avoid meaningful negotiations. It is empowering the most extreme voices and positions on both sides.”
“There is no way to achieve lasting peace without an end to the occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state in some part of the West Bank, based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps. While the large majority of Israeli settlers would likely be able to remain in their homes and become part of the state of Israel under any agreement, some settlements will need to be dismantled and evacuated. Netanyahu’s insistence on the permanent maintenance and expansion of all Israeli settlements is a recipe for permanent occupation, endless conflict and a one-state nightmare.”
“Israel has a tremendous opportunity to pursue a two-state solution and a comprehensive regional peace agreement that could secure its future as the democratic homeland for the Jewish people, and bring to an end the deeply costly and unjust occupation. What is needed are Israeli, Palestinian and regional leaders with the wisdom, responsibility and political courage to seize that opportunity – and a US administration that will challenge and help them to do so.”
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