Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s challenger for the Likud party leadership Gideon Sa’ar has accused the PM of making “countless” concessions to the Palestinians over the past ten years in his promotion of a two-state solution, which Sa’ar slammed as an “illusion”, The Jerusalem Post reports.
“Around the world, the words ‘two-state solution’ remain a kind of ‘certificate of acceptance”, Sa’ar said during the International Institute for Strategic Dialogue conference in Jerusalem on Sunday as quoted by The Jerusalem Post. “I have to tell you this is not a helpful position. It is not a helpful position because the two-state solution is not a solution. It is a two-state illusion”.
Sa’ar said that negotiations for the two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Authority failed to bring about peace, while blaming the Palestinians for never being “interested in ending the conflict”. He also cited a freezing of settlement construction in the West Bank as an example of concessions given to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by Netanyahu during the last decade.
“Countless Israeli governments have tried to further this idea of a two-state solution, and it has never been met by anything other than Palestinian rejection. Even Netanyahu has made countless overtures to [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas”, he stated.
The two-state solution has historically referred to an idea that a Palestinian state could exist independently alongside Israel, although the borders of the projected state remain disputed. In a famous 2009 speech at Bar-Ilan University, Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support for the creation and existence of a Palestinian state but since then his stance has changed considerably.
Sa’ar said during his speech on Sunday that he sees the creation of an autonomous Palestinian entity, potentially in a federation with Jordan, as a possible solution to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Between the Jordan River and the (Mediterranean) Sea there cannot be another state”, the Likud politician reportedly said.