One of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s top Israel advisers is now openly advocating that Israel annex part or all of the occupied West Bank and promoting a “one state solution.” This is dangerous, reckless rhetoric that threatens to do grave damage to US foreign policy and Mideast stability.
The adviser, David Friedman, a US backer of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, told the Jerusalem Post in an interview that a one-state solution was a viable option for ending the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. He added that a Trump administration might view an Israeli annexation of West Bank settlements as legitimate.
Friedman’s comments come on the heels of the Republican Party ratifying a platform that excludes all mention of the Palestinians and seemingly abandons the two-state solution. Taken together, they indicate a jarring turn by the party towards the so-called one-state solution.
That “solution” would mean Israel’s military occupation of over two million Palestinians in the West Bank would become permanent. It would condemn Israelis and Palestinians to endless conflict and threaten Israel’s future as a democracy and Jewish homeland.
Such a policy would break over half a century of bipartisan US consensus on the Middle East. It will be seized on by extremists on both sides to pursue their anti-peace agendas.
We call on Republican elected officials and candidates to reject Friedman’s comments. They still have an opportunity to reaffirm support for a two-state solution as the only way to end the conflict.
Responsible Republican foreign policy and security veterans, including those who have served with distinction and striven for peace in past administrations, must also now speak up, making clear that these statements are out of the mainstream, dangerous and totally unacceptable.