President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined Wednesday to commit to the long-standing search for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a shift favored by Israel’s right wing that could spark fresh turmoil in the Mideast.
The resolution condemning settlements in the occupied territories passed the Security Council because the U.S. broke with its long-standing approach of diplomatically shielding Israel and abstained instead of wielding its veto power.
A report released on Friday by the so-called Quartet – United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia – called on Israel to stop its policy of building settlements on occupied land and restricting Palestinian development. Israeli policy “is steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution,” it said.
With six primaries and three caucuses remaining in the Democratic nomination process, and both candidates running as populist champions economic and electoral reforms, perhaps foreign policy is the most telling reflection of the different paths the country would take under the historically hawkish Hillary Clinton or the non-interventionist Sanders.
Yesterday, all five presidential candidates from both parties gave speeches to AIPAC, the leading Israeli lobbying group in the U.S. But only four of them gave their speeches in Washington, D.C. The fifth, Bernie Sanders, gave his speech to an audience in Utah, where it barely received any coverage.
“Israel’s government’s steady and systematic process of expanding settlements, legalizing outposts, seizing land, is eroding in my view the prospect of a two-state solution,” Biden said in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.