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.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid called for a two-state solution during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly. He added that the future Palestinian state “must be a peaceful one” and that Palestinians need to “put down their weapons”. pic.twitter.com/28h1vomhB7— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) September 23, 2022
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.
I welcome @IsraeliPM Lapid's courageous statement at the UN General Assembly: “An agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two peoples, is the right thing for Israel’s security, for Israel’s economy, and for the future of our children.”— President Biden (@POTUS) September 22, 2022
I could not agree more.
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.
Netanyahu blasts Lapid for 'weakness, defeat and surrender' | World Israel News The Palestinians will never agree to a “two state solution” regardless of what DC and Israeli liberals think. They are playing a zero sum game, with Israel totally eliminated. https://t.co/2uUkgTshro— john patterson (@johnpat37268421) September 24, 2022
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.
“In his address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid will include an explicit call for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, an official close to the Israeli leader said Wednesday.”https://t.co/DDAlFIhygL via @timesofisrael— David Soiza (@SoizaDavid) September 22, 2022
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.
Israel’s occupation police in #Jerusalem has been preventing Palestinians from reaching their holy places in the Old City.According to Lapid’s UN speech everyone is “free” in the city. What’s wrong? Isn’t he Israel’s PM? The world should look at his policies, not his cheap words. pic.twitter.com/AxpHJeMkTD— Sami Abou Shahadeh (@ShahadehAbou) September 26, 2022
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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