Since the Trump administration took office in January, the international community has been working to reestablish the importance of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. Even before Trump took office, European leaders met to discuss the issue in mid-January, asserting their endorsement behind a two-state solution. Trump’s views on a two-state solution have left the international community baffled.
At the meeting, French President François Hollande stated in regards to Trump’s influence that the “two-state solution, which the international community has agreed on for many years, appears threatened. It is physically threatened on the ground by the acceleration of settlements, it is politically threatened by the progressive weakening of the peace camp, it is morally threatened by the distrust that has accumulated between the parties, and that has certainly been exploited by extremists.”
The new ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, was picked by Trump and houses views that are in concordance with Israel’s conservative Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Friedman rejects the two-state solution, disregarding that it has been widely accepted by the international community. The views of the new correspondent have raised concerns for Palestinians as well as members of the international community, who have been encouraging a two-state solution for many years.
Feeling emboldened by the new administration in the White House, Israel has recently announced intentions to extend settlements into Palestinian land. The settlements have been condemned by international law and the U.N. Security Council, but Netanyahu continues to press forward in the movement.
When Trump met with Netanyahu in mid-February, it became clear that the Prime Minister is closed to the idea of holding back on Israeli settlements and a two-state solution. Trump’s views on a two-state solution are less clear, as he failed to directly address questions regarding the settlements during a press conference with the Prime Minister.
Palestinians, however, are dismayed at Trump’s apparent lack of insistence for a two-state solution. Many in the West Bank and Gaza are concerned that without American support for a two-state solution, peace will be even more difficult to come by in the region.
As of July 2015, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center estimated that there were at least 263,500 internally displaced persons in Occupied Palestine (West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem). The number includes Palestinians who have been displaced in the area since the beginning of Israel’s occupation in 1967.
It is unclear how Trump’s views on a two-state solution will affect those displaced in Palestine, but the ideological stance of Trump’s appointed ambassador to Israel and Trump’s own wishy-washy convictions leave many in the international community wondering if peace in the region is still a possibility.
– Peyton Jacobsen