Israel-Palestine: Who Wants a Two-State Solution?

Published September 28th, 2022 - 08:02 GMT
Two flags in Jerusalem
A man stands with an Israeli flag before another person, holding up a Palestinian flag, in East Jerusalem on Feb. 25. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

ALBAWABA - Who wants a two-state solution on the Palestinian-Israeli front? Apparently not many, at least not among Israelis or Palestinians living in the Jewish state. A recent poll by the Israel Democracy Institute states that support for the two states is flagging among Israelis. 

Only 39 percent of those polled say they support a two-state solution. This figure has climbed down from the 46 percent who favoured the idea in 2019. Arab Palestinians living in Israel also no longer have the stomach they once had for a two states. In 2019, 79 percent said they were in favour. Today only 60 percent support the idea.

These figures maybe bad news for Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid who is facing parliamentary elections on 1 November 2022 and could be out of office soon after. However, last week at the United Nations Assembly he put on a brave face and spoke frankly about the need for a two-states solution, an Israel and a Palestine existing side-by-side.  

This is the first time an Israeli prime minister utters such an equation in front of an auspicious international body of countries. He said the majority of Israelis support this vision but he added, with one one condition: 'Put down your weapons and there will be peace"....and that "Israel seeks peace with all our neighbours..."

First to praise the Lapid speech is US president Joe Biden who called the statement by the Israeli prime minister as a courageous one because it opens up a new chapter for the Israelis and Palestinians. 

But Lapid's speech was not welcomed by many including Israeli extremists like Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the Likud Bloc who long sought to get away from the two-states idea but wants a political framework under his own condition.  Netanyahu who served as Israel's prime minister from 2009 till 2021, is already getting ready for the next elections and maybe bracing himself to win despite his legal troubles and corruption charges. 

But not many wants Netanyahu to win, not least by politicians in the Knesset who seem to be in paralysis about what to do next. But the current eight-member thin government coalition lead by Lapid on the left and Naftali Bennett on the extreme right, shows the politicians don't want another Netanyahu saga.  

Nevertheless Netanyahu is not only the one who is upset with Lapid UN speech. Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked tweeted that Lapid has “no public legitimacy to entangle Israel with statements that cause damage to the country,” she was quoted as saying by the Times of Israel.  Shaked — who has publicly apologized for sitting in the coalition in which she still serves, and who now heads the right-wing Jewish Home party — added that Lapid was speaking only for himself and not the government the daily added.

As well neither Palestinians nor their politicians are convinced about Israel's sincerity. They see things on the ground. The fatal shooting of Palestinian journalist Sherine Abu Akleh by an Israeli sniper last May, the constant raids on the Jenin Camp, the beatings of Palestinians, young and old by Israeli soldiers in holy Jerusalem to name but few incidents, have increase their anger against the Israelis.

There is a deep deficit of confidence building between Israel and the Palestinians who they see as an occupying state and whose actions on-the-ground constantly are oppressive and doesn't speak of an entity which wants peace and co-existence. Unless this change the stalemate will continue.

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