Israel Policy Forum (IPF) stresses its core position that the two-state solution is the only solution that will keep Israel Jewish, democratic, and secure, and the only path that will ever be accepted by a majority of Israelis and Palestinians. We are heartened by President Trump’s statement that he is willing to accept any peace deal upon which Israelis and Palestinians agree, especially as it affirms that only the two parties themselves can end their conflict and that a solution cannot be imposed by outside parties. We also welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement that he stands by his previous declarations that he does not want to annex 2.5 million Palestinians into Israel. Nevertheless, we are disappointed in the president’s assertion that a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians can take many forms, as it belies the realities on the ground and will not ensure Israel’s Jewish and democratic future. In asking Prime Minister Netanyahu to cut back on settlements and to understand that both sides need to make compromises, the president indicated his own recognition that a single state between the river and the sea is unrealistic and will not be accepted by both sides.

As the president and the prime minister were speaking yesterday and avoiding any explicit mention of the two-state solution, IPF board members and staff were meeting with senators and members of Congress from both parties to stress the importance of working toward two states and briefing them on concrete pragmatic proposals that can be undertaken by Israel today to simultaneously improve its security and preserve the conditions for two states. IPF will continue working toward this goal and will support efforts by the American, Israeli, and Palestinian governments that further it.

We commend President Trump for his willingness to work toward Israeli-Palestinian peace, along with his acknowledgement that both sides will need to make compromises and his highlighting of Palestinian incitement as an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. We urge the president to maintain the official policy of previous American governments in supporting the two-state solution as the only viable way forward.