Melbourne Joint Communique Omits Israeli Support for Two-State Solution

For decades, American policy toward Israel and Palestine has centered around the notion that the only way to create lasting peace in the Middle East is to create one state for Israelis and one for Palestinians - the so-called "two-state solution". That would mean that a future Palestinian state would be under Israeli control.

"I'm looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like", he said at last week's news conference.

Trump's revised language could soften such criticism, but still fails to meet demands that he explicitly re-commit to seeking a two-state solution.

"If there's one thing that I could tell you here today: Be proud Jews". Turnbull hardly appears to be a leader who will force Netanyahu back to the negotiating table. There are those who supposedly love the Land of Israel so much that they need to own all of it.

The U.N. resolution was approved in the final weeks of Barack Obama's administration, which broke with a long tradition of shielding Israel diplomatically and chose not to wield its veto power.

That reason: the demographic threat. And many of today's West Bank settlers are religious fanatics who believe they are living in the land of Judea and Samaria given by God to the Jewish people almost 3,000 years ago. However, the five MEPs were denied access to Gaza by Israeli authorities. Moreover, Jews worldwide were drawn to more to secular ideologies such as socialism and communism than Zionism's ethnic nationalism, though there were many Labor Zionists, especially among the leadership, who adhered to both Zionism and socialism.

But, such posturing deflects attention from the planting of powder-keg settlements and is easier than trying to find a solution to the problem.

Diplomatic niceties developed because they were useful in helping countries relate to one another, yet a month into his presidency, Trump already has paved a path of foreign policy missteps in total disregard of them. But presidential words on such key topics are bound to have consequences. "It might be a bigger and better deal than people in this room even understand".

Universally, the two-state solution represents what successive USA administrations and United Nations resolutions have talked about: an independent contiguous Palestinian state roughly on the pre-1967 border alongside the state of Israel. Israel has been expanding settlements slowly, focusing on the 60 percent of the West Bank that is still under its direct military control, along with key neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

It is true that Trump called on the Israeli prime minister to slow down on settlement expansion for a little while, but it is unclear whether the Israelis will heed his call. And a two-state one is impossible. Governors in 15 states have signed laws that prevent the boycott of Israel.

As part of this campaign, Israel has subsidised visits by artists, academics, music bands, among others, to help project an image of normalcy. While in opposition, Avigdor Lieberman had made toppling Hamas one of his landmark policies; as defense minister, Lieberman is now taking a more careful line, but he could be tempted to try to fulfill his promise in the event of another escalation, planned or unexpected. But the status quo is crumbling.

  • Jon Douglas