Professor Kenneth Stein, Emory University and Center for Israel Education, June 11, 2021
In July 1937, Great Britain officially suggested a two-state solution to the communal conflict in Palestine. British rule over the two communities since 1920 had proven unworkable. Britain could not persuade the Arab and Zionist political elites to cooperate with British presence. The Arab community totally opposed facilitating Jewish growth there. The Zionists did not want to participate in any self-governing institutions where they would be an established minority. Repeatedly, the Zionists diligently employed the British commitment to them, as legitimized by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate Articles “to secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home and facilitate Jewish immigration while ensuring the rights and positions of other sections of the population are not prejudiced.” Zionists purchased land, built self-governing political and social institutions, and immigrated people to grow the national home. The Arab political elite boycotted official participation in proposed British institutions like an Arab Agency that would represent Arab interests; it wanted no parity with already recognized Jewish Agency (then the Palestine Zionist Executive). A significant number of Palestinian Arabs did work for the British administration as bureaucrats, clerks, and heads of departments, but political boycott was almost always employed when it came to dealing with the British because London continued to support the development of the Jewish national home. Perhaps if the Palestinian Arab had Chosen Compromise Rather than Boycott in Confronting Zionism, Arab self-determination might have been achieved. There certainly were several dozen of British officials in the Palestine administration and in London (The 1918-1920 British military administration, Ernest Richmond, Sir-John Hope-Simpson, Lord Passfield, High Commissioners Chancellor and MacMichael, Sir Miles Lampson in Egypt, Ernest Bevin, and a host of bureaucrats in the British Colonial Office and Foreign Office) who urged the Arab elite throughout the Mandate to work with them and see Palestinian Arab self-rule materialize.
Eloquently and fairly, the 1937, 400-page Peel Report that suggested the partition of Palestine into two states, recounted the intricacies of British administration since 1920, giving a sympathetic account of Jewish and Arab national aspirations. The Report noted that the underlying causes of the most recent year-long civil disturbances were the same as those that had ignited unrest in 1920, 1921, 1928, 1929, and 1933, namely, the Arab desire for independence, the Arab hatred and fear of the Jewish National Home, and the ‘intensive character of Jewish nationalism.’ The report concluded that the aspirations of the two communities were irreconcilable. The British said the Mandate was unworkable. For the first time, an official British government paper suggested “partition as a chance for ultimate peace.” The Report
recommended that there was to be a ‘final limitation’ of the boundaries of the Jewish National Home, a new regime for the protection of the holy places to be solemnly guaranteed by the
League of Nations in order to remove all anxiety lest the holy places ‘ever should come under Jewish control,’ prevention from further loss of Arab territory to future Jewish growth, and the provision of the would-be Arab state and Transjordan with financial subventions. (See Map A below)
The Report said that the advantages of partition to the Palestinian Arabs were that they could obtain their national independence and could cooperate on an equal footing with the Arabs of the neighboring countries in the cause of Arab unity and progress and, that they are finally delivered from the fear of being “swamped” by the Jews and from the possibility of ultimate subjection to Jewish rule. For Jews, the advantages of partition were that the prior 17 years of Jewish demographic and physical growth would be converted into a Jewish state and relieved the Jewish community of being subjected to future Arab rule. It would allow its Jewish citizens to admit as many Jews into their state as they themselves believed could be absorbed, and thus
attain the primary objective of Zionism – a Jewish nation, giving its nationals the same status in the world as other nations give theirs. Partition would relieve Jews of living a “minority life.”
The Arabs in Palestine opposed the partition idea because they opposed any Zionist presence; Zionists accepted the idea of partition, but disliked the limited geographic dimensions proposed. Within a year, Britain withdrew the partition offer. In 1939, the Palestinian Arab leader rejected a British proposal for a federal state with an Arab majority to be established in ten years because he opposed all Jewish presence in Palestine.
Following Britain’s promise to withdraw her presence from Palestine, in November 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into two-states. Both states were to compose a constitution and construct an economic union between them, with Jerusalem falling under international jurisdiction. The Zionists accepted the two-state solution idea, while surrounding Arab states and the Palestinian Arabs vigorously opposed it. In May 1948, Israel was established; however, no independent Arab state emerged alongside it. The 1948 Arab-Israeli war resulted in massive numbers of Palestinian Arabs becoming refugees, as did similar numbers of Jews fleeing from surrounding Arab state violence against them.
Map A: Peel 1937 Partition Plan Map B: UN 1947 Partition Plan
The Arab-Israeli conflict itself—like the development of a two-state solution—emerged in the 1920s and 1930s. Mediated efforts to resolve the conflict did not renew in earnest until after the June 1967 War.
The first time the idea of “Palestinian participation” in their own future was mentioned stated was in the 1970s by officials in the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations. At no time before the 1970s, to our knowledge did Arab states or Palestinian Arabs themselves specifically suggest “a two state solution“ as a means to end the conflict with Israel.
In the late 1960s, the UN initiated serious mediation of the conflict; those efforts failed under the efforts of UN mediator Gunnar Jarring. Since then, the United States government, more than any other country in the world, articulated a position in favor of Palestinian autonomy, self-rule, self-determination, and a two-state solution. By the mid-1990s, a two-state solution evolved into becoming the most repeatedly proposed means to end the Palestinian-Jewish/Zionist/Israeli conflict. The borders of the two states were to be defined within the geographic confines of the earlier Palestine Mandate. That was defined as the 26,000 square kilometers that stretched from the Jordan River on the east to the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and from the Gulf of Aqaba in the south to the Lebanese-Syrian border in the north, and bounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the west. (See Map B above). From 1949 until 1967, there was no discussion in the international community or from Middle Eastern capitals of repartitioning the earlier Palestine Mandate into two states. During this time, the Jordanians were in control of the West Bank and what came to be termed East Jerusalem, while the Egyptians controlled the Gaza Strip. Jordan and Egypt respectively had taken control over these former Palestine Mandate areas at the end of the 1947-1949 war. Neither promoted an independent Palestinian state in either of these areas or collectively. Discussions recommending a political solution to the Palestinian dimension of the conflict did not occur until March 1977 forward when President Jimmy Carter became the first US president to advocate for a “Palestinian homeland.” His administration relentlessly pushed the Israeli government of Menachem Begin to devolve the limited idea of self-rule, or ‘full Palestinian autonomy’ into Palestinian self-determination and then ultimately into a Palestinian state. Begin resisted vigorously the establishment of any foreign rule over the West Bank and opposed any Israeli withdrawal from the area. Carter and subsequent US Presidents believed that most of the lands that Israel had won in its 1967 defensive war against Arab states was “occupied” land, as were portions of Jerusalem, and both areas should be set aside for a Palestinian entity or state. On and off in the 1990s, until the present, the idea of forming two states for two peoples evolved into repeated and more frequent discussion by international organizations and political leaders, ranging from bland endorsement to forceful advocacy. Some of the articulated remarks appeared in carefully thought-out plans, initiatives, and resolutions from regional, national, and international institutions. The most current two-state iteration was presented in January 2020 by Donald Trump’s administration as a Vision for Peace. And his successor, Joe Biden has made it clear through his foreign policy personnel that a two state solution should be the goal of any renewed Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.
(L_R) Israeli territory between 1949-1967, The West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israeli Settlements in West Bank (2005)
Even within the narrow scope of suggesting a two-state solution to the conflict, large differences have appeared over the detail and components of how the end-product should be configured. Specifically, within the last quarter century, critical elements of the two-state solution have focused on what have come to be termed, ‘final status’ issues: Jerusalem, borders, settlements, security, and refugees. Other terms or concepts have been added to clarify the two-state solution: prerogatives or limitations on a Palestinian state; ‘two states side by side, one a Palestinian Arab state and one a Jewish state;’ ‘recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, as the nation state of the Jewish people;’ ‘demilitarization,’ and many more components as evidenced found in the quotations below. Further, respective sides to the conflict have included as pre-conditions for acceptance of two-states, the adoption of certain behaviors; freeing of political prisoners; ending of settlements, or incitement, or violence; and adoption of specific methods of governance. Not infrequently, one side or the other will demand the other side to accept some previous UN resolution or plan as a prerequisite for considering a two-state solution outcome. The record shows that advocates and opponents of a two-state solution articulate the gamut from absolute rejection to full acceptance, some with conditionality. Perhaps the most notable feature of suggestions made for two-state solutions is that 95% of the statements made do not emanate from Palestinians or Israelis, but from institutions and individuals who live far away from where the recommended two-state solution is to apply.
Parties who have no interest in a political solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and no interest in the conflict’s resolution either remain silent on the topic or are emphatic in opposition to a two-state solution. Islamic Jihad representative (November 1994) and Hamas leaders (October 2006) are examples of consistently presented views that Israel is illegitimate and that any negotiations with the Jewish state to end the conflict are not possible. For them, a two-state solution could never be accepted. Israeli politician Naftali Bennet (November 2015), Fatah leader Nabil Shaath (July 2011) and Libyan Leader Muhammar Qaddafi (July 2009) stated clearly their respective opposition to a two-state solution. Some politicians or office holders call explicitly for “two states for two peoples” or “call for an end to the conflict,” but intentionally stop short of specifically advocating for two states, or two states for two-peoples. Some politicians or organizations such as Presidents Bill Clinton (December 2000), George Bush (June 2002), Barack Obama (September 2010), the European Union (August 2018) and President Trump (2020), provided precise and even onerous detail required for implementation of their views of a two-state solution. Saudi Foreign Minister Jubeir and Egyptian President al-Sisi have called for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement, but did not refer, in these citations at least, specifically to a ‘two-state’ solution. In February 2018, Indian Prime Minister Modi did not mention a two-state solution specifically when he spoke about the need for a Palestinian state. Israeli and Palestinian leaders have endorsed two-state solutions, each invariably with stipulations. Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas endorsed a two-state solution in May 2016 and again in June 2017, however, with the critically important caveats that his vision of a two-state solution must carry with it the adherence to the contents of the Saudi sponsored Arab Peace Initiative that includes references to numerous Arab-Israeli related UN resolutions, including Resolution 194 that calls for Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes vacated in the 1947-1949 period, namely returning to the land upon which Israel was established
on after the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. Throughout the late 1970s until the end of the 1980s, Yasir Arafat, the long-standing Chairman of the PLO, was constantly pressured by the Carter, Reagan, and Bush administrations to recognize Israel, which he did obliquely in 1989, and then officially in 1993. In January 2004, Arafat warned that time was running out on
a ‘two-state’ solution.
On several occasions since he endorsed the two-state solution publicly in June 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeated the call for “a two-state solution for two peoples, side by side” with the caveat that a Palestinian state would have to be demilitarized. Israeli political leader, Avigdor Lieberman (June 2010) endorsed a two-state solution. Earlier, Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert (November 2007) and Ariel Sharon (September 2005 and December 2003) endorsed a two-state solution. Their predecessors Ehud Barak and Yitzhak Rabin spoke about separation of the populations, but did not to our knowledge precisely endorse a ‘two-state solution” to resolve the conflict. Rabin specifically stated that he was not endorsing a state, but rather a place where the Palestinians would run their own affairs, much like the Palestinian autonomy plan sketched out by Menachem Begin fifteen years earlier. President Donald Trump (in September 2018) on the same afternoon spoke simultaneously about both a “two-state solution,” as well as a “one-state solution,” sending listeners into a tizzy of what the president preferred. And then in January 2020, Trump’s so-called “Peace Plan” was precise in calling for a two-state outcome. Significantly, high ranking government officials from both Bahrain and the UAE, in explaining their recognition of Israel in September 2020, emphatically noted their country’s respective support for a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Biden administration outline for political behavior and a two-state solution was presented in detail in January 2021 by UN Ambassador Richard Mills.
What follows is a representation of what world-wide political leaders and institutions have said about the ‘two-state solution.’ A note to the reader: We have made an effort to be comprehensive, however, we are certain that we have left out important references to ‘two-state’ utterances were omitted; we hope to correct omissions in future iterations of this collection.
May 25, 2021 – U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken
“I think we do have to try to break the cycle of violence, because if we don’t it will repeat itself. And maybe it’s next month, maybe it’s next year, maybe it’s in five years, but I don’t think that’s in anyone’s interests. It’s not in the interests of Israelis. It’s not in the interests of Palestinians. It’s not in the interests of the broader region….I think it’s really incumbent on both sides to try to do something to take away some of the things that can spark the cycle of violence. And ultimately, what that really comes down to is, at least in our judgment, doing everything possible to make sure that Israelis and Palestinians alike have in their lives equal measures of security, of opportunity, of dignity. And that manifests itself in many different ways, but I think at heart, that’s what needs to happen. And so we spent some time today talking to our allies here in Israel about how that might go forward and did the same with the Palestinians. President Biden has been absolutely clear, and he’s been clear on more than one occasion: We are committed to Israel’s security, period. We will make sure that Israel has the means to defend itself. And particularly when we have something like what the Israelis experienced in the last couple of weeks, attacks from a terrorist group indiscriminately targeting civilians, we want to make sure that Israel has the means to deal with that.
At the same time, as a democracy, I think Israel has an extra burden, and we owe the same thing to make sure that when it is defending itself, defending its citizens, it is doing everything it possibly can to avoid civilian casualties, to minimize the harm that is done to those who can get caught in the crossfire. I think a lot of work needs to be redone to try to rebuild some confidence, to try to rebuild some trust, to try to build some conditions and an environment in which it might be possible to re-engage in a meaningful way on two states. But equally important, we continue to believe very strongly that a two-state solution is not just the best way, but probably the only way to really assure that going forward, Israel has a future as a secure Jewish and democratic state, and the Palestinians have a state to which they’re entitled.” https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-with-yonit-levy-of-channel-12/
March 18, 2021 – U.S. Department of State, Principal Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter
“And to your second question, we just believe that it’s critical for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to refrain from unilateral steps that would exacerbate tensions and further undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution, such as annexation of a territory, settlement activity or demolitions, incitement to violence, and providing compensation for individuals in prison for acts of terrorism.” https://www.state.gov/briefings/department-press-briefing-march-18-2021/
March 8, 2021 – U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price
“I think generally what I would say – and I’ve had an opportunity to speak to this in recent days – look, our goal is a two-state solution, a two-state solution in which Israel lives in peace next to a viable Palestinian state. And we stand by that two-state solution because it’s not only consistent with our values and in our interests, but it’s actually consistent with the values and interests of those in the region. A two-state solution ensures Israel’s continuing identity as a Jewish and democratic state, just as it fulfills the Palestinians’ legitimate and rightful aspirations for dignity and for self-determination in a state of their own…
February 2, 2021 – Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy criticizes Kosovo’s plan to establish an embassy in Jerusalem
“It is clear that any step towards this direction will not serve the Palestinian cause and undermine the vision of a two-state solution,”
January 27, 2021 – German Federal Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas at
The Second Day of the INSS 14th Annual International Conference
“The normalization agreements hold a compelling truth: reconciliation and cooperation are possible, but they require courage. And as we leave 2020 behind, more bold steps are needed to conclude what was started with the agreements. The goal is peace and cooperation between Israel and its neighbors, but true peace and cooperation with the people of the Arab world won’t come without a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Without a negotiated two-state solution, there will be no lasting peace.
Ladies and gentlemen – the normalization agreements, the new U.S. administration, the upcoming elections in Israel, and possibly also in the Palestinian authorities – all these developments can call for fresh thinking. We are not deaf to those who voice different views, who call us naïve, and the two-state solution outdated. Neither are we blind. We see how the chances of a two-state solution are diminishing with every act of or call for violence, but also with every new housing unit that is built in a West Bank settlement. That’s why we call for a stop of activities, but we also see that the status quo is fragile, because it simply does not satisfy everyone involved. So I asked those who disagree with us, ‘How do you envision lasting peace, as Israel’s security as a democratic and Jewish state is paramount, but how do you intend to ensure both, if not through an independent Palestinian State?’
The Trump administration did not provide a convincing answer. Moreover, an annexation of parts of the West Bank would have endangered any peaceful solution, and it would have broken Israel’s ties with its closest neighbors. The Abraham Accords point in a different, more constructive direction, and it is in this spirit that annexation must stay off the table, no matter what the upcoming elections in Israel may bring. Together with France, Egypt, and Jordan, we will continue to encourage the parties to resume a meaningful dialogue. We appeal to pragmatism on both sides, and we offer our support to build confidence. A commitment to refrain from harmful unilateral action and stronger cooperation with the Palestinians in battling COVID-19 could be important first steps. Even then, the path ahead will be long, but we have important guideposts for the way ahead, past agreements between the parties, and internationally agreed parameters, even though some of them may need to be adapted and updated.”
January 27, 2021 – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J), incoming Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivers the opening statement at the hearing on the nomination of Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
“Finally, one area I hope that you and the Biden administration will remain closely engaged on is preventing the United Nations and other affiliated organizations from being used as fora for biased attacks on Israel. Such actions make a negotiated two-state solution more difficult to achieve.”
January 26, 2021 –UN Envoy Wennesland briefs the Security Council
“’The holding of elections in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza, will be a crucial step towards Palestinian unity, giving renewed legitimacy to national institutions, including a democratically-elected parliament and government in Palestine”
“The United Nations stands ready to support efforts for the Palestinian people to exercise their democratic rights. Elections are a crucial part of building a democratic Palestinian State built on rule of law, with equal rights for all.”’
January 26, 2021 – The Biden administration announces renewal of US relations with Palestinian leadership. U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Richard Mills
“Under the new administration, the policy of the United States will be to support a mutually agreed two-state solution, one in which Israel lives in peace and security alongside a viable Palestinian state.”
January 19, 2021 – The Secretary of State Confirmation Hearing.
Chairman Risch: “However, any discussions with Iran should begin and end with our allies in the region. Israel, and many of our other Gulf allies, felt the United States abandoned them and their security concerns during the JCPOA negotiations. With U.S. leadership over the last four years, our relations were rebuilt and paved the way for the Abraham Accords. The Abraham Accords signed last year were a significant step in fundamentally improving the security, economic, and diplomatic environment in the Middle East, but they also underscored the significant threat that Iran poses to our regional partners. I would hope future negotiations with Iran would include extensive consultations with not just Congress, but also Israel and our Gulf partners. And given its significant implications, any new deal should also be submitted as a treaty for Senate ratification. I understand that that’s a controversial issue, but if we’re going to have the support of the United States, it can’t just be one branch of government. It needs to be all branches of government. I hope that the Biden administration will adhere to these conditions before and during any engagement with Iran.”
Tony Blinken: “The best way and only way to assure Israel’s future as a Jewish democratic State and to give the Palestinians the state to which they’re entitle is through the so-called Two-State Solution. Obviously, a solution that is very challenged at this moment. I think realistically, it’s hard to see near-term prospects for moving forward on that. In the first instance, what would be important is to make sure that neither party takes steps that make the already difficult proposition even more challenging, and certainly avoids uniliteral actions that make that more challenging, and then hopefully to start working to slowly build some confidence on both sides to create an environment in which we might once again be able to help advance a solution to the Israeli and Palestinian relationship.”
“I also want to renew my commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship and the Two-State Solution.”
Senator Tim Kaine: “Since the Oslo Accords, I feel like our policy is to take the Two-State Solution as our policy. It has been hard for us to find a meaningful path forward…The prospects for a peaceful Israel and Palestine existing side-by-side are worse today than they were in 1990 when I first visited, and I find that tragic. What’s the challenge of not having a meaningful Two-State Solution? Let’s talk about COVID. There’s a vaccination campaign going on right now that in Israel, it is one of the leading and most innovative in the world in terms of activity, high percentage of people, but virtually no one in Palestine has been vaccinated. The Israeli Health Minister says, ‘when we are done with our citizens, then we will focus attention on our neighbors.’ So the Palestinians are in this odd space where they sort of don’t have their own country- they’re in the country, but not considered citizens. They are considered neighbors. This is the kind of thing that suggests we really do need to find a path forward… How might we use the improved relations between nations in the Arab world with Israel to help advance the prospect finally, since 1940, the prospect of the Two-State Solution?
Tony Blinken: “First of all, I very much share the premise of your comment in question, which is that I see the Two-State Solution, however distant it may appear, is still the best and probably the only way to truly assure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, and of course to give the Palestinians the state to which they are entitled. The challenge of course is how to move forward on that at a time when you rightly said seems more distant than it has ever been, at least since Oslo. I hope the progress made with the Abraham Accords, which I applaud. The steps that countries are taking to normalize relations with Israel is an extremely positive development, and one that we would hope to build on, if given the opportunity. I hope that might create a greater sense of confidence and security in Israel, as it considers the relationship with the Palestinians. Because whether we like it or not, whether they like it or not, it’s not going away.”
January 11, 2021 – The Munich Group – composed of Egyptian, Jordanian, German, and French foreign leaders – convenes in Cairo and issues statement calling for a two-state solution based on the ’67 lines
“In a statement put out after the meeting the group ‘emphasized their commitment to a negotiated two-state solution, ensuring an independent and viable Palestinian state based on June 4, 1967, lines and UN Security Council resolutions, living side by side a secure and recognized Israel.’
It also ‘emphasized the role of the United States in this context’ and ‘expressed willingness to work with the United States towards facilitating negotiations leading to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region, based on the internationally-recognized parameters, and re-launching a credible peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis.’
It spoke out as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem announced he would advance plans for 800 new West Bank settler homes, including the legalization of an outpost.
In Cairo, the foreign ministers called on Israel to ‘completely cease all settlement activities including in east Jerusalem.’ They also urged Israel to maintain the ‘legal status quo of the Holy sites in Jerusalem’ and ‘recalled the importance of the historic Hashemite custodianship of Jerusalem’s Holy sites.’
The Munich Group spoke out as Israel has thrown its support behind US President Donald Trump’s peace plan for two states which allowed Israel to retain 30% of the West Bank, including the settlements.”
December 8, 2020 – UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East
“It is my pleasure to greet participants of the 2020 United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East. Twenty-nine years ago, this annual event was born to help promote peace and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. Unfortunately, the possibility of that peace seems as remote as ever.
This seminar occurs just a few days after the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, marking the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of a resolution that called for the creation of two States.
I understand the deep sense of despair of the Palestinian people. The dreams of generation after generation have been dimmed by conflict and more than half a century of occupation. I also recognize the legitimate concerns of the Israeli people and their aspirations to live in peace and security.
The position of the United Nations is defined by resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly as well as international law and bilateral agreements. The twoState solution remains the only path to ensuring that Palestinians and Israelis can both realize their legitimate aspirations, living sidebyside in peace and security, based on the 1967 borders, and with Jerusalem as the capital of both States.
I will continue to speak out against any effort that undermines peace and moves the parties further away from constructive negotiations. I urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume a meaningful dialogue and I welcome all international initiatives which could help advance a just and comprehensive peace between the two peoples. I wish you a successful seminar.”
November 11, 2020 – “Remarks by Yousef Al-Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States
“We still believe that a two-state solution is the only game in town. In the end the Palestinians are not going away.”
October 1, 2020 – House Resolution 1173 Introduced
“This resolution honors Yitzhak Rabin for his service to the Israeli people and extends the sympathy and condolences of the House of Representatives to his family and the people of Israel on the 25th anniversary of his death. Further, it expresses support for (1) the close ties and special relationship between the United States and Israel; (2) community leaders and government officials who work to encourage coexistence and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians; and (3) a negotiated, two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
September 30, 2020 – The Elders and the Carter Center Joint Convening with “1948 Palestinian” Civil Society and Thought Leaders.
“Since Nelson Mandela founded The Elders in 2007, he set resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a priority for the Group. This series of consultations run by the two organizations serves to better understand Palestinian priorities and concerns in the evolving political context in Israel-Palestine and the wider region. Mr. Brahimi described the situation as one that is fast becoming akin to apartheid. Ms. Jilani reminded the group that The Elders had condemned the US plan in the strongest terms and written to European leaders warning against the threat of Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank. She welcomed the input of the Palestinians to help inform the advocacy work of The Elders.”
“In responses to queries about the future of the two-state solution, participants expressed deep cynicism. Several made the point that it was more important to talk about justice and Palestinian rights than about political “solutions.” The discussion around normalization between Gulf states and Israel also led participants to question the relevance of trying to reach a peace agreement at this time now that Netanyahu no longer believes that normalization depends first on resolving the Palestinian question. “
“The discussion reinforced the need to focus on Palestinian rights and justice across territorial areas while understanding the particular experiences Palestinians face in different geographies (West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Israel, Diaspora). The segregation policies that are being applied to Palestinians within Israel are perhaps similar to those in the West Bank and Gaza, with a common outcome: an apartheid reality. At the same time, the particular complications of the situation of 1948 Palestinians, as well as the particular human rights abuses they face, need to be understood and appreciated at the international level. Further conversations with Palestinians in Israel about political challenges and opportunities are also warranted. Finally, more effort is needed to encourage dialogue among Palestinians across geographies in order to highlight the linkages between their experiences and build a common project to combat human rights abuses and achieve real peace.”
September 29, 2020- European Union State on Middle East Peace Process and Israel/Palestine Conflict
“Good afternoon, everyone. I would like to make the following statement today on behalf of the four EU members of the security council: Belgium, Estonia, France, and Germany, joined today by our own Ireland and Norway as incoming members. We welcome the signing of the agreements between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, and between the kingdom of Bahrain and Israel.
We recognize the role played by the United States in this regard and believe that these developments represent a positive contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East. We remain convinced that sustainable peace, security and stability in the Middle East cannot be reached without a just, lasting, and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in line with international law and relevant UN resolutions.
Israel’s commitment to suspend plans to unilaterally annex areas of the occupied Palestinian territory is a positive step and should become permanent. We remain firm in our commitment and support to a negotiated and viable two state solution built upon the internationally agreed parameters and international law.
It is essential, to that end, meaningful negotiations on all on all final status issues resume between Israelis and Palestinians. We remain ready to support Israelis and Palestinians in this regard and call on both sides to abstain from any unilateral actions, which would be contrary to international law, exacerbate tensions, or further undermine trust between the parties.
We support all efforts to help resume credible negotiations, including the recent meeting held in Amman on September the 24th and the efforts of the Middle East Quartet. We call for the full respect and implementation of Resolution 2334. We reaffirm our deep concern about Israeli settlement activities, including actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions, and confiscations of homes in the occupied Palestinian territory, which are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace and to a negotiated two-state solution.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pJHqJCJgyk
September 21, 2020 Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani on His Majesty the King’s vision of peace and coexistence
“Dr. Al-Zayani pointed out that the Kingdom of Bahrain’s signing of the declaration supporting peace with Israel coincided with the International Day of Peace, which is an important historical step aimed at bringing peace, stability and prosperity to the Middle East, and ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution.”
August 20, 2020 – Minister Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, “We are committed, you know, as part of the international consensus on the two-state solution, any embassy will be in Tel Aviv. So that is quite clear. I think that the whole idea of suspending annexation, giving space and opportunity for negotiations and a two-state solution, you know, is evident where our embassy will be.”
July 27, 2020- 2020 Democratic Party Platform
“We support a negotiated two-state solution that ensures Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state with recognized borders and upholds the right of Palestinians to live in freedom and security in a viable state of their own. Democrats oppose any unilateral steps by either side—including annexation—that undermine prospects for two states. Democrats will continue to stand against incitement and terror. We oppose settlement expansion. We believe that while Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations, it should remain the capital of Israel, an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”
May 6, 2020- Democratic Presidential Candidate and Former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks to JTA about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
“A priority now for the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace should be resuming our dialogue with the Palestinians and pressing Israel not to take actions that make a two-state solution impossible.”
January 28, 2020 – White House “Peace to Prosperity” – Trump Plan
“The principles set forth in this Vision for Peace, Prosperity and a Brighter Future (collectively, this “VISION”), are designed for the benefit of Palestinians, Israelis and the region as a whole. This Vision addresses today’s realities, and provides the Palestinians, who do not yet have a state, with a path to a dignified national life, respect, security and economic opportunity and, at the same time, safeguards Israel’s security. A realistic solution would give the Palestinians all the power to govern themselves but not the powers to threaten Israel. This necessarily entails the limitations of certain sovereign powers in the Palestinian areas (henceforth referred to as the “Palestinian State”) such as maintenance of Israeli security responsibility and Israeli control of the airspace west of the Jordan River. This Vision creates a realistic Two-State solution in which a secure and prosperous State of Palestine is living peacefully alongside a secure and prosperous State of Israel in a secure and prosperous region… The Palestinians deserve a better future and this Vision can help them achieve that future. Palestinian leaders must embrace peace by recognizing Israel as the Jewish state, rejecting terrorism in all its forms, allowing for special arrangements that address Israel’s and the region’s vital security needs, building effective institutions and choosing pragmatic solutions. If these steps are taken and the criteria set forth in this Vision are satisfied, then the United States will support the establishment of a Palestinian State…” (Part A, pp. 3-4)
“…While the Palestinians have never had a state, they have a legitimate desire to rule themselves and chart their own destiny. Any workable peace agreement must address the Palestinians’ legitimate desire for self-determination. This Vision addresses these legitimate concerns through, among other things, the designation of territory for a future Palestinian state, strengthening Palestinian institutions of self-government, providing Palestinians with the legal status and
international standing of a state, ensuring solid security arrangements, and building an innovative network of roads, bridges and tunnels that enables freedom of movement for the Palestinians…”
“…The following criteria are a predicate to the formation of a Palestinian State and must be determined to have occurred by the State of Israel and the United States, jointly, acting in good faith, after consultation with the Palestinian Authority:
- The Palestinians shall have implemented a governing system with a constitution or
another system for establishing the rule of law that provides for freedom of press, free and fair elections, respect for human rights for its citizens, protections for religious freedom and for religious minorities to observe their faith, uniform and fair enforcement of law and contractual rights, due process under law, and an independent judiciary with appropriate legal consequences and punishment established for violations of the law.
- The Palestinians shall have established transparent, independent, and credit-worthy financial institutions capable of engaging in international market transactions in the same manner as financial institutions of western democracies with appropriate governance to prevent corruption and ensure the proper use of such funds, and a legal system to protect investments and to address market-based commercial expectations. The State of Palestine should meet the independent objective criteria to join the International Monetary Fund.
- The Palestinians shall have ended all programs, including school curricula and textbooks, that serve to incite or promote hatred or antagonism towards its neighbors, or which compensate or incentivize criminal or violent activity.
- The Palestinians shall have achieved civilian and law enforcement control over all of its territory and demilitarized its population.
- The Palestinians shall have complied with all the other terms and conditions of this Vision…” (Part A, pp. 34)
“…During peace negotiations, the parties are expected to do the following:
The State of Israel
In areas of the West Bank that are not contemplated by this Vision to be part of the State of Israel, Israel will not:
Build any new settlement towns, expand existing settlements or advance plans to build in those areas;
Expand any of the Israeli enclaves referred to in Section 4 or advance plans to expand those enclaves in those areas beyond their current footprint;
Demolish any structure existing as of the date of this Vision and secure the necessary legislative and/or legal decisions to ensure such an outcome. This moratorium does not preclude demolition of any illegal construction, where such construction was initiated following the release of this Vision. This moratorium does not apply to the demolition of any structure that poses a safety risk, as determined by the State of Israel, or punitive demolitions following acts of terrorism
In Palestinian enclaves referred to in Section 4, the legal status quo will prevail and the State of Israel will enable the development of those Palestinian communities with their current footprint.
The PLO and the Palestinian Authority shall:
Refrain from any attempt to join any international organization without the consent of the State of Israel;
Take no action, and shall dismiss all pending actions, against the State of Israel, the United States and any of their citizens before the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, and all other tribunals;
Take no action against any Israeli or United States citizen before Interpol or any non-Israeli or United States (as applicable) legal system;
Take all necessary actions to immediately terminate the paying of salaries to terrorists serving sentences in Israeli prisons, as well as to the families of deceased terrorists (collectively, the “PRISONER & MARTYR PAYMENTS”) and to develop humanitarian and welfare programs to provide essential services and support to Palestinians in need that are not based upon the commission of terrorist acts. The goal is to change the applicable laws, in a manner that is consistent with the laws of the United States, and completely cease making Prisoner and Martyr Payments by the time of signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement; and Further the development of institutions necessary for self-governance.
The United States
To the extent permitted by law, the United States shall:
Allow the Office of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization to reopen;
open a liaison mission to the Palestinian Authority at an appropriate location within the territory designated for the State of Palestine, as determined by the United States.
Take appropriate steps to resume U.S. assistance to the West Bank and Gaza, to the extent reasonable and appropriate, in consultation with the U.S. Congress; and work with the international community to support new initiatives for the Palestinian people including programs to improve the delivery of electricity and water, ease the movement of goods and help create jobs.” (Part A, pp. 38-39)
June 15, 2019 – Nikos Christodoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Cyprus
“A solution to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, based on the internationally accepted parameters, namely the two-state solution, is indispensable to the stability and security of the region.” Statement to the press by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nikos Christodoulides on the official visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Nicosia.
June 7, 2019 – Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “The Trump Administration has never missed an opportunity to undermine a potential two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. This resolution calls on us to push towards both self-determination for Palestinians and security for Israel.” Elizabeth Warren Press Release on her introduction of Senate Resolution Supporting the two-state solution. https://www.warren.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/bipartisan-resolution-to-honor-the-nations-first-responders-unanimously-passes-us-senate
June 7, 2019 – Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT)
“We need to defend Israel’s right to live in peace and security, while at the same time, end the occupation and protect Palestinians’ right to security and self-determination. … a two-state solution based on international law remains the best path to achieving a just and lasting peace and is firmly in the interest of the United States.” Senator Sanders statement regarding Senator Warren’s resolution.
May 22, 2019 – Jonathan Allen, UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations
“The United Kingdom continues to believe that substantive peace talks between the parties – leading to a negotiated two-state solution based on 1967 lines, with agreed land swaps, with Jerusalem as a shared capital and a just, fair, agreed and realistic settlement for refugees – is the way to end the Arab-Israeli conflict; provide security and justice to both Israelis and Palestinians; and preserve Israel’s Jewish and democratic identity.” Statement made at the Security Council debate on the Middle East Peace Process.
April 11, 2019 – Takeshi Osuga, Japanese Foreign Press Secretary
“The Government of Japan once again strongly urges the Government of Israel to fully freeze its settlement activities including implementing the construction plans that are undermining the viability of a two-state solution.” Press release by Takeshi Osuga.
March 26, 2019 – Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
“I join my colleagues in reaffirming the House’s strong support for a solution consisting of two states, a democratic Jewish state of Israel and a viable democratic Palestinian state, living side by side in peace, security, and mutual recognition. A two-state solution, though, is not a solution without a guaranteed security for Israel. Security. Security. Security” Address at the 2019 AIPAC Policy Conference.
February 18, 2019 – Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister
“Look at the Palestinians: Who is supporting Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and undercutting the Palestinian Authority? Iran …We cannot stabilize the region without peace between Israelis and Palestinians, [but] wherever we go we find Iran’s evil behavior.” Remarks by Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister at the US-Polish conference on the Middle East in Warsaw, Poland.
February 15, 2019 – António Guterres, UN Secretary General
“…I commend your efforts and commitment towards a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian question. This can only be achieved through realization of the vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, based on relevant UN resolutions, long-held principles, previous agreements and international law.” Remarks to Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
October 4, 2018 – Angela Merkel, German Chancellor
“We favor and stand for the project of a two-state solution. There can be many solutions, of course, but I still think that [two states] is the most sensible solution. In this context, I expressed on Germany’s behalf the concern regarding the settlement policy, which makes efforts to achieve a two-state solution more difficult.” German Chancellor Merkel’s remarks at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
September 26, 2018 – Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egyptian President
“We cannot talk about the peaceful settlement of disputes as a founding principle of the United Nations and indicator of its credibility, without citing the Palestinian cause. It stands as a perfect example of the failure of the international system to find adjust solution to the conflict, based on international legitimacy and United Nations resolutions, that guarantees the establishment of a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital. The terms of reference of this just solution and the determinants of a final settlement are well known. I repeat here what I have said in previous years on this platform, the Arabs are still stretching out their hands in peace. Our peoples deserve to turn this tragic page in history, and the Palestinian people deserve to exercise their legitimate rights.” Egyptian President al-Sisi speech at the UN General Assembly in New York.
September 26, 2018 – Donald Trump, President of the United States
“I like two-state solution. Yeah. That’s — that what I think — that’s what I think works best. I don’t even have to speak to anybody, that’s my feeling. Now, you may have a different feeling — I don’t think so — but I think two-state solution works best.” U.S. President Trump answering questions from the press before a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu during the UN General Assembly in New York. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-prime-minister-netanyahu-israel-bilateral-meeting-3/
September 26, 2018 – Donald Trump, President of the United States
“If the Israelis and the Palestinians want one state, that’s OK with me. If they want two states, that’s OK with me,” he said. “I’m happy if they’re happy.” President Trump remarks to the press at a news conference clarifying his position on the two-state solution after his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu.
April 3, 2018 – Salman bin Abdulazziz al-Saud, King of Saudi Arabia
“I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations.”
February 20, 2018 – Olof Skoog, Swedish Ambassador to the UN
“In order to contribute to the two-state solution, we must acknowledge the fundamental root cause of this conflict and that is the occupation. To be able to reach a sustainable peace, humanitarian, economic and political actions are all needed, but their full engagement will not suffice if the occupation of Palestine does not end…The aim remains two states living side by side in peace and security with Jerusalem as the capital of both states. This is also the policy of the European Union. There is no alternative. And that is why no action should be taken that prejudges the final status issues. Such issues can only be taken off the table as part of negotiations between the parties. That includes Jerusalem and refugees.” Remarks made at the UN Security Council on February 20, 2018
February 11, 2018 – Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister
“India hopes that Palestine soon becomes a sovereign and independent country in a peaceful atmosphere…We believe that permanent solution to the issue of Palestine is ultimately contained in negotiations and understanding through which a path to a peaceful coexistence can be obtained.” Remarks made by Indian Prime Minister Modi addressing the Media on state visit to the Palestinian territories.
January 22, 2018, Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States
“And President Trump reaffirmed, that if both sides agree, the United States of America will support a two-state solution.” Vice President Mike Pence address at the Knesset in Jerusalem. https://www.c-span.org/video/?440058-1/vice-president-pence-addresses-israeli-knesset
May 3, 2017 – Mahmud Abbas, Palestinian Authority President
“Mr. President, our strategic option, our strategic choice is to bring about peace based on the vision of the two-state — a Palestinian state with its capital of East Jerusalem that lives in peace and stability with the state of Israel based on the borders of 1967. Mr. President, for us to bring about a comprehensive and just peace based on the two-state solution, such matter would give a great impetus to the Arab peace initiative and the other initiatives… We are aspiring and want to achieve our freedom, our dignity, and our right to self-determination. And we also want for Israel to recognize the Palestinian state just as the Palestinian people recognize the state of Israel.” PA President Mahmud Abbas, at a Joint News Conference with US President Donald Trump.
January 15, 2017 – Paris Middle East Conference Joint Declaration
It called “upon both sides to officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution, thus disassociating themselves from voices that reject this solution; [and) call [s] on each side to independently demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution and refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of negotiations on final status issues, including, inter alia, on Jerusalem, borders, security, refugees and which they will not recognize…”
December 28, 2016 – John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State
“The two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace and security with its neighbors. It is the only way to ensure a future of freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people. And it is an important way of advancing United States interests in the region.” Remarks on Middle East Peace at The Dean Acheson Auditorium, Washington D.C. https://2009-2017.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2016/12/266119.htm
December 23, 2016 – UN Security Council Resolution 2334
“Stressing that the status quo is not sustainable and that significant steps, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, are urgently needed in order to (i) stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground, which are steadily eroding the two-State solution and entrenching a one-State reality, and (ii) to create the conditions for successful final status negotiations and for advancing the two-State solution through those negotiations and on the ground,
1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;
2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;
3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;
4. Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperiling the two-State solution…” UNSCR 2334, December 23, 2016,
July 10, 2016 – Sameh Shoukry Egyptian Foreign Minister
“The goal that we [Egypt] aim to achieve through negotiations between the two parties is one that is based on justice, legitimate rights and mutual willingness to coexist peacefully in two neighboring independent states in peace and security.” Remarks by Egyptian Foreign Minister,
Jerusalem, Israel, July 10, 2016,
July 10, 2016 – Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister
“I call again on the Palestinians to follow the greatest example of Egypt and Jordan and join us for direct negotiations. This is the only way we can address all the outstanding problems between us and turn the vision of peace based on two states for two peoples into a reality.” Remarks by Prime Minister Netanyahu on the visit of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to Israel. http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/2016/Pages/Egyptian-FM-Shoukry-arrives-on-official-visit-10-July-2016.aspx
July 1, 2016 – The Quartet Report on the Middle East
“The Quartet reiterates that a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to achieve an enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation that began in 1967, and resolves all permanent status issues. [based] on previous statements and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and pledges its active support for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).” Report of the Middle East Quartet. http://www.state.gov/p/nea/rls/rpt/259262.htm
June 23, 2016 – Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority President
“We favor a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital, and the solution will be based on the Arab Initiative that was that was approved in 2002 with no changes to it.” Remarks by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before the European Parliament.
June 6, 2016 – Susan Rice, US National Security Advisor,
“Indeed, the only path to sustainable security for Israel and to dignity and self-determination for the Palestinians is two states for two peoples, living side by side in peace and security… Just as we oppose counterproductive Palestinian actions and strongly condemn incitement and violence. Settlement activity corrodes the prospects for two states. It moves us toward a one-state reality. Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state is at stake. Secretary Kerry has just returned from a gathering of foreign ministers in Paris, where the United States and all other participants underscored that a negotiated two-state solution is the only way to achieve an enduring peace. A solution cannot be imposed on the parties.” Susan Rice, US National Security Advisor at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum.
June 3, 2016 – European Country Middle East Peace Initiative-
“…reaffirmed that a negotiated two-state solution is the only way to achieve an enduring peace with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security…’’ Middle East Peace Initiative – Joint Communiqué – Paris, France.
April 10-11, 2016 –G7 Foreign Ministers, Joint Communique
“Achieving Middle East peace remains a key priority and an indispensable element for regional security. We urge both sides to avoid steps which could spark further escalation, including unilateral measures which could prejudge the outcome of negotiations and threaten the viability of the two-state solution. We call upon the parties, with the active support of the international community to work towards a negotiated solution based on two States living in peace and security. We commend international efforts to that end.” G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting April 10-11, 2016 Hiroshima, Japan Joint Communiqué.
March 21, 2016 – Hillary Clinton, former US Senator and Secretary of State
“Will we keep working toward a negotiated peace or lose forever the goal of two states for two peoples? Despite many setbacks, I remain convinced that peace with security is possible and that it is the only way to guarantee Israel’s long-term survival as a strong Jewish and democratic state. It may be difficult to imagine progress in this current climate when many Israelis doubt that a willing and capable partner for peace even exists. But inaction cannot be an option. Israelis deserve a secure homeland for the Jewish people. Palestinians should be able to govern themselves in their own state, in peace and dignity. And only a negotiated two-state agreement can survive those outcomes.” Hillary Clinton’s remarks to the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.
March 20, 2016 – Joe Biden, United States Vice-President
“There is no political will among Israelis or Palestinians to move forward at this moment with serious negotiations and that’s incredibly disappointing, because the only way, in my view, to guarantee Israelis’ future and security, its identity as a Jewish and Democratic state is with a two-state solution.” Remarks by Vice-President Joe Biden to the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.
February 12, 2016 – Abdullah II, King of Jordan
“The community of nations cannot talk about universal rights and global justice but continue to deny statehood to Palestinians! This failure has created a festering injustice and continues to be exploited by Daesh [ICIS] and its kind. Our whole world has paid the price. Left unresolved, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will become a religious conflict of a global dimension. And it is only a matter of time before we may be faced by yet another war in Gaza or in South Lebanon. This is
why reaching a two-state solution should remain a priority for us all.” Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II at the 52nd Munich Security Conference. http://www.jordanembassyus.org/news/remarks-his-majesty-king-abdullah-ii-52nd-munich-security-conference
December 5, 2015 – John Kerry, United States Secretary of State
“The United States is deeply committed to secure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state. And we are also committed to an independent and viable Palestinian state where Palestinians can live with freedom and dignity. The only way to achieve that is through a negotiated solution that creates two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security.” Remarks by Senator John Kerry at the Brookings Institute’s 2015 Saban Forum. http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/12/250388.htm
November 5, 2015 – Naftali Bennett Leader of Israel’s Jewish Home Party
“… for its security, Israel cannot withdraw from more territory and cannot allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank… Coexistence and peaceful relations will not be obtained through artificial processes imposed on us from above. [A] Palestinian entity will be short of a state. It will not control its own borders and will not be allowed to have a military.” Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Minister of the economy and leader of Israel’s Jewish Home Party, Op-ed, The New York Times, November 5, 2014.
October 1, 2015 – Benjamin Netanyahu Israeli Prime Minister
“Because I remain committed to a vision of two states for two peoples, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state. You know, the peace process began over two decades ago. Yet despite the best efforts of six Israeli prime ministers—Rabin, Peres, Barak, Sharon, Olmert and myself—the Palestinians have consistently refused to end the conflict and make a final peace with Israel.” Speech at the United Nations, October 1, 2015. http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Speeches/Pages/speechUN011015.aspx#
September 30, 2015 – Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority President and Chairman of the PLO
“Several European countries and parliaments also affirmed their recognition of the State of Palestine, reaffirming our natural fight to independence. In this regard, we thank the Kingdom of Sweden for its courage and recognition of the state of Palestine. Indeed, the countries that say they support the two-state solution must recognize the two states, not just one.” Mahmoud Abbas speech at the United Nations, September 30, 2015.
July 22, 2015 – Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of Italy
“The peace that we demand for Jerusalem will only be reached when the project of two states for two people is achieved. This can only happen if the full security of all is granted, with the fulfillment of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and the right of the Jewish people to their national state.” Remarks by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to the Israeli Parliament, July 22, 2015.
August 18, 2015 – European Union Resolution
“The Resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is a fundamental interest of the EU. The EU’s objective is a two-state solution with an independent, democratic, viable and contiguous Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors.” (contains EU details for final status negotiations and possible resolution) https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/337/middle-east-peace-process_en
May 14, 2015 – Barack Obama, President of the United States
“We reiterate the urgent need for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinian…I continue to believe that a two-state solution is absolutely vital for not only peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but for the long-term security of Israel as a democratic and Jewish state.” Remarks by President Obama, press conference at Camp David, after meeting representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2015/05/14/remarks-president-obama-press-conference-after-gcc-summit
December 17, 2014, – European Parliament
“Reiterates its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with the secure State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security on the basis of the right of self-determination and full respect of international law. Underlines the need for a comprehensive peace, ending all claims and fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of both parties, including those of Israelis for security and those of Palestinians for statehood; stresses that the only possible solution to the conflict is the coexistence of two States, Israel and Palestine.” Resolution Calling for Palestinian Statehood Recognition in Context with Two States Living Side by Side, December 17, 2014. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P8-TA-2014-0103+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN “
July 30, 2013 – John Kerry, United States Secretary of State
“The United States will work continuously with both parties as a facilitator every step of the way. We all understand the goal that we’re working towards two states living side by side in peace and security. Two states because two proud peoples each deserve a country to call their own. Two states because the children of both peoples deserve the opportunity to realize their legitimate aspirations in security and in freedom. And two states because the time has come for a lasting peace.” Remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry on the opening of Palestinian-Israeli talks in Washington, DC, July 30, 2013,
May 3, 2013 – Andreas Reinicke, European Union special representative for the Middle East peace process
“We Europeans regard [a two-state solution] as the best option. With it, there would be two completely independent political entities. The conflicts between the two countries, which have such a strong impact on the entire region, would then begin to recede – which is what we want, after all. We believe that the two-state solution can be achieved, but we do not know how long the window of opportunity for it will stay open. There will come a time when it will no longer be
realistic. The only realistic alternative would be a “one-state solution,” which a range of protagonists find unacceptable, for good reasons. Other positions consider attaching the West Bank to Jordan and Gaza to Egypt, which is vehemently rejected by both countries. Last of all, a sort of “cantonization plan” has been introduced into the discussion – that is, the creation of individual Palestinian territories around the larger Palestinian cities, which I cannot imagine would be possible.” Remarks by Andreas Reinicke, European Union special representative for the Middle East peace process. May 3, 2013, German Council of Foreign Relations, https://dgap.org/en/think-tank/publications/dgapinterview/time-running-out-two-state-solution
March 21, 2013 – Barak Obama, President of the United States President “Negotiations will be necessary, but there’s little secret about where they must lead — two states for two peoples. Two states for two peoples… Palestinians must recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state and that Israelis have the right to insist upon their security. (Applause.) …an independent Palestine must be viable with real borders that have to be drawn.” President Barak Obama, Remarks to the People of Israel, Jerusalem International Convention Center, March 21, 2013, Jerusalem, Israel
March 21, 2013 – Barak Obama, President of the United States
“…in our discussions today, I reaffirmed to President Abbas that the United States remains committed to realizing the vision of two states, which is in the interests of the Palestinian people, and also in the national security interest of Israel, the United States, and the world. We seek an independent, a viable and contiguous Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people, alongside the Jewish State of Israel — two nations enjoying self-determination, security and peace.” Remarks by President Obama, Ramallah, West Bank, Press Conference, March 21, 2013.
November 30, 2012 – Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of State Secretary of State
“We all need to work together to find a path forward in negotiations that can finally deliver on a two-state solution. That must remain our goal. And if and when the parties are ready to enter into direct negotiations to solve the conflict, President Obama will be a full partner.” Remarks at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, November 30, 2012, Washington, D.C. http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/11/201343.htm
October 8, 2012 – Mitt Romney, US Republican Presidential Candidate
“I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel.” Remarks to cadets at the Virginia Military Institute, October 8, 2012.
September 25, 2012 – Barack Obama, President of the United States
“Among Israelis and Palestinians, the future must not belong to those who turn their backs on the prospect of peace. Let us leave behind those who thrive on conflict, those who reject the right of Israel to exist. The road is hard, but the destination is clear: a secure Jewish state of Israel and an independent, prosperous Palestine.” Remarks to the UN General Assembly, September 25, 2012. .http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/25/remarks-president-un-general-assembly
February 11, 2012 – Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France
“It is not enough to have two states; there must be two states for two nations. I know very well that there are two ways to destroy Israel: from without and from within. This is why the two-state solution is not enough. We need to have two states for two separate nations. One for the Jewish people and one for the Palestinians…France will never recognize a Palestinian state established unilaterally and unconditionally.” Remarks by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to French Jewish Community, February 11, 2012.
June 26, 2012 – Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
“We talked about ways of overcoming the dilemma of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, I point out here the responsible position of President Abbas and his endeavor to reach a peaceful settlement based on a two-state settlement. I am sure that all unilateral actions are not constructive,” Remarks by Russian President Vladimir Putin to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Bethlehem, June 26, 2012.
December 16, 2011 – President Barack Obama, President of the United States
“As President, I have never wavered in pursuit of a just and lasting peace — two states for two peoples; an independent Palestine alongside a secure Jewish State of Israel.” President Barak Obama at the 71st General Assembly of the Union for Reform Judaism, Gaylord Hotel, National Harbor, Maryland, December 16, 2011. Remarks by Barak Obama to the 71st General Assembly of the Union for Reform Judaism, December 16, 2011.
November 4, 2011 – Andrew J. Shapiro, Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs
“His [President Obama’s] vision carefully weighs and balances difficult tradeoffs that the parties will need to make, which we believe are necessary to reach our common goal: two states for two peoples – Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace. We continue to work towards this goal and remain committed to using every opportunity and every tool to make this a reality.” Remarks to The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, On Ensuring Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge. http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/rm/176684.htm
September 21, 2011 – Barack Obama, President of the United States
“The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.” Remarks to the UN General Assembly, September 21, 2011. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/21/remarks-president-obama-address-united-nations-general-assembly>
July 13, 2011 – Nabil Sha’ath, Foreign Relations Head, Fatah
“The French initiative] reshaped the issue of the “Jewish state” into a formula that is also unacceptable to us – two states for two peoples. They can describe Israel itself as a state for two peoples, but we will be a state for one people. The story of “two states for two peoples” means that there will be a Jewish people over there and a Palestinian people here. We will never accept this – not as part of the French initiative and not as part of the American initiative. We will not sacrifice the 1.5 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship who live within the 1948 borders, and we will never agree to a clause preventing the Palestinian refugees from returning to their country. We will not accept this, whether the initiative is French, American, or Czechoslovakian.” Remarks by Nabil Sha’ath, Head of Foreign Relations in Fatah, July 13, 2011. http://www.memri.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/3046.htm
May 24, 2011 – Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
“The peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan are vital. But they’re not enough. We must also find a way to forge a lasting peace with the Palestinians. Two years ago, I publicly committed to a solution of two states for two peoples: A Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state. I am willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historic peace. As the leader of Israel, it is my responsibility to lead my people to peace.” Benjamin Netanyahu address to US Congress, May 24, 2011. http://www.cfr.org/israel/netanyahus-address-us-congress-may-2011/p25073
May 22, 2011 – Barak Obama, President of the United States
“…the parties themselves will negotiate a border than is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. That’s what mutually agreed-upon swaps means. It is a well-known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the 44 years. It allows the parties themselves to take account of those changes, including the new demographic realities on the ground, and the needs of both sides. The ultimate goal is two states for two people: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people and the State of Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people –each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition and peace.” Speech by President Barak Obama, to AIPAC Policy Conference, May 22, 2011.
May 19, 2011 – Barack Obama, President of the United States
“Ultimately, it is up to Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them, nor can endless delay make the problem go away. But what America and the international community can do is state frankly what everyone knows: a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples, Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.” President Barak Obama, Speech to the Nation, May 19, 2011, < http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/05/19/remarks-president-middle-east-and-north-africa>
October 22, 2010 – Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal
“We agree on the two-state solution, on a viable Palestinian state, and on Israel living in peace with all of its neighbors.” Remarks by Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, Arab-US Policymakers Conference Washington, DC, October 22, 2010.
October 15, 2010 – Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority President and chairman of the PLO
“We want an independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital…a state that lives in peace with all of its neighbors, including Israel.” Remarks at a press conference with Finland’s President, Tarja Halonen, October 15, 2010. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=324299>
September 15, 2010 – Senator George Mitchell, US Middle East Negotiator
“We have said many times that our vision is for a two-state solution that includes a Jewish, democratic state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with a viable, independent, sovereign, and contiguous state of Palestine. But of course, this is one of many sensitive issues that the parties will need to resolve themselves, and that is the point of negotiations. The parties will reach agreement on all major issues.” Remarks by US Middle East Negotiator, Senator George Mitchell, Sharm el-Sheikh summit, September 15, 2010.
September 1, 2010 – Barak Obama, President of the United States
“The purpose of these talks is clear. These will be direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. These negotiations are intended to resolve all final status issues. The goal is a settlement, negotiated between the parties, that ends the occupation which began in 1967 and results in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security with a Jewish state of Israel and its other neighbors. That is the vision we are pursuing.” Remarks by President Barak Obama, September 1, 2010.
June 23, 2010 – OPED by Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli Foreign Minister
“The solution lies not in appeasing the maximalist territorial demands of the Palestinians, but in truly creating “two states for two peoples. The current demands from some in the international community are to create a homogeneous pure Palestinian state and a binational state in Israel. This becomes the one-and-a-half to half state solution. For lasting peace and security, we need to create true political division between Arabs and Jews, with each enjoying self-determination.
Therefore, for a lasting and fair solution, there needs to be an exchange of populated territories to create two largely homogeneous states, one Jewish Israeli and the other Arab Palestinian. Of course, this is not to preclude that minorities will remain in either state where they will receive full civil rights. There will be no so-called Palestinian right of return.” Jerusalem Post, June 23, 2010.
June 14, 2010 – 20th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting
“The Joint Council reaffirmed the EU and the GCC shared position that a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East is vital for international peace and security. The two sides reemphasized that peace in the Middle East should be achieved through negotiations between the parties concerned and in all its tracks in
accordance with the Madrid terms of reference and based on the principles of land for peace, the two-state solution, the relevant UNSC resolutions, the Road Map, and previous agreements reached between the parties.” Luxembourg, June 14, 2010.
April 30, 2010 – Muhammad al-Sabah, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister
“We need to bring about peace, a peace that is based on a two-state solution for an independent and viable Palestinian state with its capital, East Jerusalem, and a state that would live in peace and security with its neighbor.” Remarks by Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister Muhammad al-Sabah (and Hillary Clinton), April 30, 2010.
March 16, 2010 – Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State
“We have a close, unshakable bond between the United States and Israel and between the American Israeli people. We share common values and a commitment to a democratic future for the world and we are both committed to a two-state solution. But that doesn’t mean that we’re going to agree. We don’t agree with any of our international partners on everything.”
— Washington, D.C., responding to a question in a press conference, “Remarks with Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin,” March 16, 2010. http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/03/138424.htm
March 15, 2010 – Catherine Ashton, EU Foreign Relations Representative
“The parameters of a negotiated settlement are well known. A two-state solution with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security. Our aim is a viable State of Palestine in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza strip, on the basis of the 1967 lines. Settlements are illegal, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible. ” Speech by HR Catherine Ashton, at the League of Arab States –A Commitment to Peace – the European Union and the Middle East, Speech by HR Catherine Ashton, EU Foreign Relations Representative, at the League of Arab States, Cairo, March 15, 2010. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/foraff/113352.pdf
“We re-affirmed our commitment to comprehensive peace, and to the common objective of achieving a two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians live side by side in peace and security.” U.S-UAE Joint Statement, February 23, 2010. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/02/137171.htm
February 3, 2010 – Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Foreign Minister of Bahrain
“We also reaffirmed our commitment to a durable and lasting peace in the Middle East. Bahrain appreciates the leadership of the United States on this issue and its commitment to achieve a peace based on a two-state solution that will bring all countries in the region to a mutually beneficial peace accord.” Remarks by Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, February 3, 2010.
December 8, 2009 – Council of the European Union
“If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.” European Union Conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process, December 8, 2009.
November 25, 2009 – Hillary Clinton US Secretary of State
“We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israel goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements. Let me say to all the people of the region and world; our commitment to achieving a solution with two states living side by side in peace and security is unwavering.” Remarks by US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, Department of State, November 25, 2009.
November 11, 2009 – Shaul Mofaz, (he was nominated to head the Israeli Kadima Party in March 2012), Plan for a Palestinian state
“I propose the immediate establishment of an independent disarmed Palestinian state in the West Bank and in Gaza. Simultaneously, we will engage in dialogue with the Palestinians on the final status issues. I believe that the moment the Palestinians accept the idea of a permanent state with temporary borders, and at the same time we start to speak about the final status issues, the atmosphere and the trust between the two sides will completely change. My main idea is to start with a Palestinian state. The state is not temporary, the borders are temporary. The moment they have a state, they could build their economy, law and security apparatuses. They could build a better life for the Palestinian people.“ Remarks made during a conference call for the Israel Policy Forum, November 11, 2009.
November 2, 2009, -Taieb Fassi-Fihri, Foreign Minister of Morocco
“And naturally, His Majesty as the president of Jerusalem Committee in the context of OIC, and Morocco with its tradition, we believe since a long time that the peace is possible and the vision of two states it’s the best things and the negotiations will help to reach this important institutional goal. Then we have to continue, and we are sure that thanks to this contact what we heard from Madame Secretary today and what we can also humbly contribute for, we will help each other for this important goal of peace between all Arabs and Israel.” Remarks with Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri, November 2, 2009. http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/11/131229.htm
August 21, 2009 – Barack Obama, President of the United States
“The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been the goal of the US government and international community since the Clinton Administration, and is widely understood to be the best resolution available, one that would finally allow each people to develop fully and deal effectively with each other.” The President’s Ramadan Message, August 21, 2009. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-barack-obama-ramadan-message
June 22, 2009 – Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister, Palestine Authority
“Having sided with the earlier Israeli narrative regarding the essence of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which has failed thus far to lead to peace and end the conflict, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Address adopted a more vague and less committed approach to the concept of the two-state solution as compared to the June 2003 declaration of the Israeli Government, of which he was a member. Based on our bitter experience over the past six years, our people are well justified in raising substantial doubts on whether the current Israeli discourse forms the political ground necessary for the realization of a two-state solution. In any case, we believe that the international community should persist in demanding that Israel adhere to its Road Map obligations in order to realize the two-state solution paving the way to peace in the region.” Remarks at Al Quds University, Jerusalem, June 22, 2009. http://www.americantaskforce.org/address_prime_minister_salam_fayyad_al_quds_university
June 14, 2009 – Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
“If we receive this guarantee regarding demilitarization and Israel’s security needs, and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish people, then we will be ready in a future peace agreement to reach a solution where a demilitarized Palestinian state exists alongside the Jewish state.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bar-Ilan University, June 14, 2009.
June 4, 2009 – Barack Obama, President of the United States
“For decades then, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It’s easy to point fingers — for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought about by Israel’s founding, and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within its borders as well as beyond. But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth: The only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.” President Barak Obama speaking in Cairo, on A New Beginning” at Cairo University
May 18, 2009 – Barack Obama, President of the United States
“I have said before and I will repeat again that it is, I believe, in the interest not only of the Palestinians, but also the Israelis and the United States and the international community to achieve a two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians are living side by side in peace and security. And I am confident that in the days, weeks and months to come we are going to be able to make progress on that issue.” President Barak Obama, Press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Washington, DC, May 18, 2009. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-President-Obama-and-Israeli-Prime-Minister-Netanyahu-in-press-availability>
February 10, 2009 – Shimon Peres, President of Israel
“A …one-state solution would undermine Israel’s legitimacy and internationally recognized right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state in the land of my forefathers. Having personally witnessed the remarkable progress we have made with the Palestinian Authority in recent years, I believe that a two-state solution is not only the best resolution to this age-old conflict but one within our reach. The one-state solution has enough intrinsic flaws to render it no solution at all. From Israel’s perspective, it is not possible for the Jewish people to accept an arrangement that signifies the end of the existence of a Jewish state. Establishing a single multinational country is a tenuous path that does not bode well for peace but, rather, enforces the conflict’s perpetuation. The Palestinian people want and deserve their own land, their own political institutions and their right to self-determination. It is vital that this cause be based on the prospect of coexistence between Jews and Arabs, achieving all this will be possible only by granting each people its own state and borders, Shimon Peres, President of Israel, “One Region, Two States,” The Washington Post, February 10, 2009.
January 22, 2009 – Muammar Qaddafi, Leader of Libya (abbreviated)
“A just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians lies in the history of the people of this conflicted land, and not in the tired rhetoric of partition and two-state solutions. The basis for the modern State of Israel is the persecution of the Jewish people; a two-state solution will create an unacceptable security threat to Israel. Calls for a two-state solution or partition persist. But neither will work. It is an injustice that Jews who were not originally inhabitants of Palestine, nor were their ancestors, can move in from abroad while Palestinians who were displaced only a relatively short time ago should not be so permitted. A Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would do little to resolve the problem of refugees. Any situation that keeps the majority of Palestinians in refugee camps and does not offer a solution within the historical borders of Israel/Palestine is not a solution at all. The Palestinian-held areas could not accommodate all of the refugees, and buffer zones symbolize exclusion and breed tension. Israelis and Palestinians have also become increasingly intertwined, economically and politically. In absolute terms, the two movements must remain in perpetual war or a compromise must be reached. The compromise is one state for all, an “Isratine” that would allow the people in each party to feel that they live in all of the disputed land and they are not deprived of any one part of it.” Muammar Qaddafi, Leader of Libya, “The One-State Solution,” The New York Times, January 22, 2009.
January 08, 2009 – UNSC Resolution 1860
“Calls for renewed and urgent efforts by the parties and the international community to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders, as envisaged in Security Council resolution 1850 (2008), and recalls also the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative,” January 08, 2009.
December 5, 2008 – George W. Bush, President of the United States
“To advance all the principles that I’ve outlined — supporting our friends, and pressuring our adversaries, and extending freedom — America has launched a sustained initiative to help bring peace to the Holy Land. At the heart of this effort is the vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. I was the first American President to call for a Palestinian state, and support — and build support for the two-state solution has been a top priority of my administration.” Washington, D.C., lecture at the Saban Forum, December 5, 2008. http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/12/20081205-8.html
June 8, 2008 – Tzipi Livini, Foreign Minister of Israel
“I still believe in our right to the whole land, but felt it was more important to make a compromise. We cannot solve who was right or wrong in 1948 or decide who is more just. The Palestinians can feel justice is on their side, and I can feel it is on my side. What we have to decide about is not history but the future.”
Interview with the New York Times, Jerusalem, June 8, 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/08/magazine/08livni-t.html?pagewanted=all
May 1, 2008 – Condoleezza Rice, United States Secretary of State
“I do believe the window for the two-state solution is not open forever…I think you could argue it’s gotten narrower and narrower over time.”
Remarks to reporters traveling with her before her talks in the Middle East, London May 1, 2008. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3538562,00.html
April 29, 2008 – Condoleezza Rice, United States Secretary of State
“Increasingly, the Palestinians who talk about a two-state solution are my age.”
April 29, 2008, Washington,
November 28, 2007 – Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel
“If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished.” –Washington, D.C., in an interview with Haaretz after the Annapolis conference, November 28, 2007.
November 27, 2007 – George Bush, President of the United States
“In furtherance of the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, we agree to immediately launch good-faith, bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues, without exception, as specified in previous agreements.” Remarks by George Bush, at Annapolis Middle East Peace Conference, November 27, 2007.
November 4, 2007 – Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel
“There is no intention of dragging the negotiations on endlessly; there is no reason to suffer the same foot-dragging which previously characterized our discussions. There is no basis for the assumption that someone will attempt to circumvent dealing with the fundamental issues which are a condition for realizing the vision of two states living side-by-side in security and peace.” Remarks by Ehud Olmert, Address at the Saban Forum, Jerusalem, Israel, November 4, 2007.
October 21, 2006 – Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas leader
“Israel is a vile entity that has been planted in our soil, and has no historical, religious or cultural legitimacy. We cannot normalize our relations with this entity. The history of this region has proven [time and again] that occupation is temporary. Thousands of years ago, the Romans occupied this land and [eventually] left. The Persians, Crusaders, and English [also] came and went. The Zionists have come, and they too will leave. [We say] no to recognizing Israel, regardless of the price we may have to pay.” Remarks by Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas Foreign Minister, al-Ayyam, October 21, 2006.
June 13, 2006 – Tony Blair, British Prime Minister
“We either put our best effort into making sure that negotiated settlement becomes a reality, or we are going to face a different reality.” Downing Street press conference, London, The Guardian, “Blair refuses to back Olmert’s West Bank plan: Leaders speak after Downing Street meeting: Negotiated settlement ‘only way forward’ June 13, 2006. http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianweekly/story/0,,1797395,00.html
March 13, 2006 – Mohammad Yaghi, Arab writer regrets Partition rejected in 1947 “Rejection of the partition decision in 1947 made more than half the Palestinian people refugees and deprived us of Palestinian sovereignty over our lands in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip… rejection of Resolutions 242 and 338 obstructed the opportunity of their implementation when the world was enjoying some sort of balance of power with the existence of the Soviet camp…how did the partition borders, according to which the Palestinian people would get 48 percent of their historic land, become truce line borders in 1949 when these do not exceed 22 percent of the historic land of Palestine? And how did the West Bank become a piece of Swiss cheese that is cut by settlements everywhere? And how, in Jerusalem, did we become a minority that Israel seeks to get rid of…Time, my brothers in HAMAS, does not work in our [Palestinians’] favor.” Muhammad Yaghi, “The Dangers of Hamas’s Policy.” Al-Ayyam, March 13, 2006.
January 27, 2006 – Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary
“The Palestinian people, as the President indicated yesterday, voted for change. But their aspirations for peace and a peaceful life remain unchanged. And the way to get to peace is through the two-state vision that the President outlined. And that’s what we will remain committed to.” Washington, Press Briefing January 27, 2006. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=63763#axzz1qod4lR3y
September 15, 2005 – Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel
“…The essence of my Jewish consciousness, and of my belief in the eternal and unimpeachable right of the people of Israel to the Land of Israel. However, I say this here also to emphasize the immensity of the pain I feel deep in my heart at the recognition that we have to make concessions for the sake of peace between us and our Palestinian neighbors. The right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel does not mean disregarding the rights of others in the land. The Palestinians will always be our neighbors. We respect them, and have no aspirations to rule over them. They are also entitled to freedom and to a national, sovereign existence in a state of their own. I am among those who believe that it is possible to reach a fair compromise and coexistence in good neighborly relations between Jews and Arabs. However, I must emphasize one fact: There will be no compromise on the right of the State of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, with defensible borders, in full security and without threats and terrorism.” Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the UN, September 15, 2005. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Key+Speeches/PM+Sharon+addresses+the+UN+General+Assembly+15-Sep-2005.htm
March 1, 2005 – Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority
“We expect President Bush to implement his own vision of a two-state solution, the birth of the Palestinian State and the ending of the occupation that started in 1967.” Remarks March 1, 2005, London, interview with BBC Radio London. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4307491.stm
April 14, 2004 – Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to President George W. Bush
“The vision that you articulated in your 24 June 2002 address (calling for two states for two peoples) constitutes one of the most significant contributions toward ensuring a bright future for the Middle East. Accordingly, the State of Israel has accepted the Roadmap, as adopted by our government. For the first time, a practical and just formula was presented for the achievement of peace, opening a genuine window of opportunity for progress toward a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, involving two states living side-by-side in peace and security.
January 23, 2004 – Yasser Arafat, President of the Palestinian Authority
“Time is running out for the two-state solution.”Interview with “The Guardian,” Ramallah, January 23, 2004.
January 24, 2004 – Sa’eb Erekat, Senior Palestinian Negotiator and Cabinet Minister
“The two-state solution is being buried by an apartheid system of Palestinian Bantustans and walled city prisons.” Interview with “The Guardian,” Ramallah, January 23, 2004. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/jan/24/israel1>
December 13, 2003 – Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel
“Seven months ago, my Government approved The Road Map to peace, based on President George Bush’s June 2003 speech. This is a balanced program for phased progress toward peace, to which both Israel and the Palestinians committed themselves. A full and genuine implementation of the program is the best way to achieve true peace. The Road Map is the only political plan accepted by Israel, the Palestinians, the Americans and a majority of the international community. We are willing to proceed toward its implementation: two states, Israel and a Palestinian State, living side by side in tranquility, security and peace.” Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Address at the Fourth Herziliya Conference, Herziliya, Israel, December 18, 2003.
April 30, 2003 – The Quartet, “The Road Map”
“Parties reach final and comprehensive permanent status agreement that ends the Israel-Palestinian conflict in 2005, through a settlement negotiated between the parties based on UNSCR 242, 338, and 1397, that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and includes an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee issue, and a negotiated resolution on the status of Jerusalem that takes into account the political and religious concerns of both sides, and protects the religious interests of Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide, and fulfills the vision of two states, Israel and sovereign, independent, democratic and viable Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security.” “The Road Map” issued by the ‘Quartet’ (the US, Russia, UN, and EU), April 30, 2003.
June 4, 2003 – Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Aqaba Summit
“I would like to thank King Abdullah for hosting our meeting here today. I would like also to thank President Mubarak and King Abdullah, King Hamad and Crown Prince Abdullah, who met in Egypt yesterday. I thank them for their statements supporting our efforts. I also would like to thank the Israeli prime minister, Sharon, for joining us here in Jordan. And many thanks especially to President Bush who took the longest journey for peace of all of us. As we all realize, this is an important moment. A new opportunity for peace exists, an opportunity based upon President Bush’s vision and the quartet‘s road map which we have accepted without any reservations. Our goal is two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The process is the one of direct negotiations to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to resolve all the permanent status issues and end the occupation that began in 1967 under which Palestinians have suffered so much.” Palestinian Authority President and PLO Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, at the Aqaba summit conference, June 4, 2003.
June 24, 2002 – George W. Bush, President of the United States
“My vision is two states, living side by side in peace and security…the United States of America will support the creation of a Palestinian state whose borders and certain aspects of its sovereignty will be provisional until resolved as part of a final settlement in the Middle East. A Palestinian state will require a vibrant economy, where honest enterprise is encouraged by honest government. The United States, the international donor community and the World Bank stand ready to work with Palestinians on a major project of economic reform and development. The United States will not support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure. This will require an externally supervised effort to rebuild and reform the Palestinian security services. The security system must have clear lines of authority and accountability and a unified chain of command. America is pursuing this reform along with key regional states. The world is prepared to help, yet ultimately these steps toward statehood depend on the Palestinian people and their leaders.” Speech by US President George Bush, June 24, 2002.
March 27-28, 2002 – Arab Summit Conference Resolution
“…full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194; the acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since the 4th of June 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital; consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region. Moreover, they promise to provide security for all the states in the region, which includes Israel; establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace, and invites the international community and all countries and organizations to support this initiative.” Arab summit conference resolution, March 27-28, 2002.
March 12, 2002 – UNSC 1397
The UN Security Council affirmed “a vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders,” and stressed “the need for all concerned to ensure the safety of civilians.” UNSC 1397, March 12, 2002. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/UN+Security+Council+Resolution+1397.htm
February 3, 2002 – Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat on the Palestinian Vision of Peace
“The Palestinians have a vision of peace: it is a peace based on the complete end of the occupation and a return to Israel’s 1967 borders, the sharing of all Jerusalem as one open city and as the capital of two states, Palestine and Israel. It is a warm peace between two equals enjoying mutually beneficial economic and social cooperation. Despite the brutal repression of Palestinians over the last four decades, I believe when Israel sees Palestinians as equals, and not as a subjugated people upon whom it can impose its will, such a vision can come true. Indeed it must. Palestinians. In addition, we seek a fair and just solution to the plight of Palestinian refugees who for 54 years have not been permitted to return to their homes. We understand Israel’s demographic concerns and understand that the right of return of Palestinian refugees, a right guaranteed under international law and United Nations Resolution 194, must be implemented in a way that takes into account such concerns.” Yasser Arafat, “The Palestinian Vision of Peace.” The New York Times, 3 Feb. 2002, New York
November 2001 – Colin Powell, United States Secretary of State
“We have a vision of a region where Israelis and Arabs can live together in peace, security and dignity. We have a vision of a region where two states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders.” Speech by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, “U.S. Position on Terrorists and Peace in the Middle East,” November 19, 2001, Speech by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell,” Journal of Palestine Studies, 31.2 (2002): 165-9.
January 7, 2001 – Bill Clinton, President of the United States
“The fact is that the people of Israel dreamed of a homeland. The dream came through; but when they came home, the land was not all vacant. Your land is also their land, it is the homeland of two people. And, therefore, there is no choice but to create two states and make the best of it.” Speech on Middle East Peace at the Israel Policy Forum at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York City, January 7, 2001.
December 23, 2000 – Clinton Parameters
“The solution will have to be consistent with the two-state approach – the state of Palestine as the homeland of the Palestinian people and the state of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. Under the two-state solution, the guiding principle should be that the Palestinian state should be the focal point for the Palestinians who choose to return to the area without ruling out that Israel will accept some of these refugees. I believe that we need to adopt a formulation on the right of return that will make clear that there is no specific right of return to Israel itself but that does not negate the aspiration of the Palestinian people to return to the area. The agreement will define the implementation of this general right in a way that is consistent with the two-state solution. It would list the five possible homes for the refugees:
- The State of Palestine
- Areas in Israel being transferred to Palestine in the land swap
- Rehabilitation in host country
- Resettlement in third country
- Admission to Israel
In listing these options, the agreement will make clear that the return to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and area acquired in the land swap would be right to all Palestinian refugees, while rehabilitation in host countries, resettlement in third countries and absorption into Israel will depend upon the policies of those countries.” Clinton Parameters for Negotiating Peace, December 23, 2000.
November 15, 2000, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Release
“Prime Minister [Ehud Barak] emphasized that a Palestinian state must not be allowed to be established through violence and incitement; rather, it must come about through negotiations and agreement.” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release regarding Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s conversation with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair at a refueling stop in London. https://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/2000/Pages/PM%20Barak%20Palestinian%20violence%20and%20incitement%20must.aspx
July 10, 2000, Ehud Barak, Israeli Prime Minister
“We will act with determination, courage and resourcefulness, while insisting on separation from the Palestinians, and upholding our assurances on these critical “red lines”:
- No return to the 1967 lines.
- A united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.
- No foreign army west of the Jordan River.
- An absolute majority of the settlers in Judea and Samaria living in settlement blocs under our sovereignty.
- Israel will not accept moral or legal responsibility for the creation of the refugee problem.”
Prime Minister Ehud Barak address to the Knesset in Jerusalem before the Camp David Summit. https://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/2000/Pages/Address%20to%20the%20Knesset%20by%20PM%20Barak%20on%20the%20Camp%20Dav.aspx
November 20, 1999, Ehud Barak, Israeli Prime Minister
“I am proposing separation, but not detachment. I am proposing good fences for good neighbors, and separate economies for separate peoples. We will have a free trade agreement with the Palestinians and broad economic cooperation, the sharing of know-how and raw materials, and some Palestinians working in Israel. The Palestinians too I believe will not want to be fully integrated into our economy, use our currency or accept limitations from access to world markets. They will want to have and control their own economy, value their own currency, and determine their own markets.” Prime Minister Barak remarks at the Israeli Policy Forum Dinner in New York. https://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/1999/Pages/Excerpts%20from%20Remarks%20by%20PM%20Barak%20at%20Israeli%20Polic.aspx
September 28, 1999, Remarks by Hanan Ashrawi,
“We have to put our Palestinian home in order through a serious dialogue among all forces and parties in order to put our Arab relations in order. Unless we achieve these goals, we will enter the final-status. The separation between the two peoples can only take place if there is equality, if control of the crossings and water resources is lifted, and if the settlements are removed. Only then can a physical separation be achieved. Separating Palestine from Israel while the former is still in a weak situation will turn it into an Israeli satellite. Statehood is a Palestinian right and was declared in 1988 after the United Nations gave us that right in 1947, when the UN General Assembly called for the establishment of two states in Palestine, an Arab and a Jewish state. What is important is that we should not maneuver and we should go ahead with our plans to establish a state on the ground by first building its institutions, stressing good performance, and putting the right man in the right place. “Al-Dustour (Amman) 28 September 1999, as quoted in FBIS, Daily Report, Near East and South Asia, September 28, 1999.
October 5, 1995, Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Prime Minister
“We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority…We had to choose between the whole of the land of Israel, which meant a binational state, and whose population, as of today, would comprise four and a half million Jews, and more than three million Palestinians, who are a separate entity — religiously, politically, and nationally — and a state with less territory, but which would be a Jewish state. We chose to be a Jewish state. We chose a Jewish state because we are convinced that a binational state with millions of Palestinian Arabs will not be able to fulfill the Jewish role of the State of Israel, which is the state of the Jews.” Prime Minister Rabin remarks to the Knesset in Jerusalem on the Ratification of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement.
November 21, 1994 – ‘Abdallah al-Shami, Islamic Jihad spokesmen rejects legitimacy of Israel
“The state of Israel has no right to exist over the land of Palestine. Recognizing the legitimacy of Israel is a disavowal of our people’s right. We have been against the legitimacy of the occupation from the beginning. The entire land is owned by our people. We do not mind if the Jews want to live on our land. However, we will not agree whatsoever to live under their flag and under their control.” Interview with ‘Abdallah al-Shami, official spokesman for the Islamic Jihad Movement in the Gaza Strip, Al-Muharrir (Paris), 21 November 1994.
March 27, 1992 – PLO Leader Arafat on two states and definition of Resolution 181
“The basic question remains whether the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination and to establish a sovereign state. Only UN Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947, the resolution on the division of Palestine, is the birth certificate of the State of Israel. In the first section it provides for the emergence of an Arab Palestinian state. The second section provides for the creation of a Jewish state, which was later set up in the form of Israel. This means that there should be two states on this territory.” Text from Berlin, Neues Deutschland, 27 March 1992, p. 5; taken from Foreign Broadcast Information Service-NESA, April 1, 1992, p. 4.
September 16, 1991, – US Memorandum of Agreement with Israel
“The United States opposes the idea of a Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan.” https://israeled.org/resources/documents/u-s-memorandum-agreement-israel-peace-process/
March 12, 1991, The Eleven-Point Manifesto for Negotiating Outcome and Application of Relevant UN Palestinian Resolutions, Submitted by Palestinians
“We reaffirm our commitment to the Palestinian peace initiative as formulated by the Palestine National Council in November 1988. Our goal is to set up a Palestinian state alongside Israel within the framework of a solution involving two states.” The Eleven-Point Manifesto for Negotiating Outcome and Application of Relevant UN Palestinian Resolutions, Submitted by Palestinians, Journal of Palestine Studies 20.4 (1991): 164. Print
May 4, 1989, Yasser Arafat, PLO Leader
“The declaration of independence is founded on the two-state solution, and the charter is caduc [French for ‘obsolete’].” Paris, news conference at the Arab World Institute (in Arabic), May 4, 1989. http://www.nytimes.com/1989/05/04/world/arafat-reaffirms-stand-on-palestinian-charter.html
December 23, 1988, State of Negotiations, Speech by Israeli Prime Minister Yizhak Shamir to the Knesset
“In historic Eretz-Israel two states arose, one Jewish and the other Arab. The two states give full expression to the aspirations of both nations for independence and a homeland of their own. There is neither room for nor logic in a second Arab state within Eretz-Israel, and it will never be established. The way to a solution to the problem of the Arabs of Eretz-Israel lies in the Camp David Accords. We are committed to them, and we are convinced that they contain a framework for a just and appropriate solution.” Meron Medzini, Israel. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Speech by Israeli Prime Minister Shamir to the Knesset.” Israel’s Foreign Relations: selected documents, 1988, pp. 10-16.
December 13, 1988 Speech by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat to the UN General Assembly
“Successive American administrations have been aware that the only birth certificate upon which the State of Israel was established has been General Assembly Resolution 181 (II of 29 November 1947, endorsed at the time by the United States and the Soviet Union. It provides for the establishment of two States in Palestine, one Palestinian Arab and the other Jewish. How then can the American Government justify a position whereby it acknowledges and recognizes the half of that resolution that pertains to Israel and rejects the half pertaining to the Palestinian State?” Yasser Arafat, Speech by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat to the UN General Assembly. 13 Dec. 1988. Rpt. in Documents on Middle East Peace, 1982-88. Washington D.C.: GPO, 1989.
November 14, 1988, Palestinian Declaration of Statehood
“Despite the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian Arab people resulting in its dispersion and depriving it of its right to self-determination following upon UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (1947), which partitioned Palestine into two states, one Arab, one Jewish, yet it is this resolution that provides those conditions of international legitimacy that ensure the right of the Palestinian Arab people to sovereignty and national independence.”
The Palestinian Declaration of Independence. Journal of Palestine Studies XVIII.2 (Winter 1989): 206-13. Print.
October 4, 1977 – Moshe Dayan, Foreign Minister of Israel to President Jimmy Carter, “We will not negotiate over a Palestinian state. We can talk about partition, or living together, or autonomy, but not pulling out altogether. What I would like is your assurance that you will not use pressure or leverage on us to get us to accept a Palestinian state, even if it is tied to a Jordanian federation. I want you to know how we feel. We cannot survive with a Palestinian state. Israel would be only eight miles wide and we would have no early warning. The PLO would dominate it. We have a feeling that you and the Soviets will try to impose a Palestinian state,” Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan to President Jimmy Carter, The White House, Washington, DC.
November 29, 1947, UN General Assembly Resolution 181
The UN General Assembly called for the establishment of “independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, [within] two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the Mandatory Power…but in any case not later than 1 October 1948. The boundaries of the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem shall be… an Arab and Jewish State in Mandated Palestine with an economic union connecting them and a special international status for Jerusalem.” UN General Assembly Resolution 181, November 29, 1947.
September 1947 – Arab League Secretary General Rejects Two State plan for Palestine as endorsed by the Jewish Agency for Palestine- discussion between Jewish Agency and Arab League official
Jewish Agency official, Aubrey (Abba) Eban, “The UNSCOP report establishes the possibility of a satisfactory compromise. Why shouldn’t we at least make an effort to reach an agreement on those lines? You Arabs cannot wipe out or exterminate over a half a million people. We, for our part, are genuinely desirous of an agreement with the Arabs and are prepared to make sacrifices for one. We’re ready to propose a concrete plan for co-ordination of interests and a real peace between the two peoples.”
Azzam Pasha of the Arab League, “An agreement will only be acceptable at our terms. The Arab world regards you as invaders and is ready to fight you. The conflict of interests among nations is, for the most part, not amenable to any settlement except armed clash. We only think in terms of the Arab world. Nationalism, that’s a greater force than any that drives us. We don’t need economic development with your assistance. Nations never concede; they fight. You won’t get anything by peaceful means or compromise. You can, perhaps, get something, but only by the force of arms. We shall try to defeat you. I’m not sure we’ll succeed, but we’ll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it’s too late to talk of peaceful solutions.” David Horowitz, State in the Making, New York: Alfred Knopf, 1953, pp. 233-235. https://israeled.org/resources/documents/abdulrahman-azzam-pasha-rejects-compromise-zionists/
August 1947 – Report of the UN Special Committee on Palestine [UNSCOP],
“According to the plan of the majority (the representatives of Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, and Uruguay), Palestine was to be constituted into an Arab State, a Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem. … The Arab and the Jewish States would become independent after a transitional period of two years beginning on 1 September 1947.
A treaty would be entered into between the two States, which would contain provisions to establish the economic union of Palestine and to provide for other matters of common interest.”
The United Nations. August 31, 1947, “Report on Palestine, Report to the General Assembly by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, New York: Somerset Books, 1947.
July 1944 – Sir Harold MacMichael, Britsh High Commissioner in Palestine
“I see no alternative to partition, whereby Jewish immigration would lose most of its terror for the Arab – and much of its attraction for the Jew. Jewish immigration into a Jewish State would become a problem for the Jews themselves to deal with as they thought best… By partition …Jews and Arabs alike would enjoy the possession of their own respective territories, the former protected by international guarantees for their security and the latter relieved from the fear of further encroachments at the instance of a foreign mandatory. For neither would there be the same inducements as before to out-vie the other in a crescendo of demands for more.” British High Commissioner Sir Harold MacMichael to Oliver Stanley, Colonial Secretary, Jerusalem, July 17, 1944, CO 733/461/75872 Part 2.
March 1939 – Decision of Palestinian leader Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husayni to reject White Paper (one state solution) contrary to the position of the other 14 Palestinian leaders
“This [discussion] went on for a time, dreaming of a Palestinian Arab as the head of a department, as a Minister or a Prime Minister or even at Government House, and why not? But this sweet dream did not last long. The discussion became more strained as some of us began to realize that Haj Ameen was not in favor of accepting the White Paper. This negative stand, which gradually became more pronounced, made the atmosphere extremely tense, the arguments between Haj Ameen and the rest of the members became acute….it became quite clear that the only person who was against accepting the White Paper was Haj Ameen Al-Husseini. The remaining fourteen members were not only strongly in its favor but were determined to put an end to the negative policy Arab leadership had been adopting heretofore. “Take and demand the rest” was now their new motto. If there were excuses for our negative stands in the past, and there were, they were gone. the sole concern of the Committee was now concentrated on convincing Haj Ameen that his negative stand was extremely detrimental to the Arab cause and was serving unintentionally, the Zionist cause; and that he was doing exactly what the Zionists wanted him to do. The fourteen members felt that they could not possibly discard a policy which had put an end to the Jewish National Home policy in Palestine; nor could they conscientiously refuse a policy which had cancelled the establishment of a Zionist State recommended by the Royal Commission and adopted by the British Government. Did not this [White Paper] statement put an end to the development of the Jewish National Home and an end to the Balfour Declaration? And what gain do we, the Arabs of Palestine, expect to procure from discarding such a [British offer as] policy?” Izzat Tannous, The Palestinians Eyewitness History of Palestine. New York: Igt Co, 1988. 309-310.
January 24, 1939 – British Government desire to end Jewish national home’s growth
“It is evident that by far the most important measure which could be taken to influence the Arab States in favour of the United Kingdom would be our Palestine Policy…on the outbreak of war…the necessary measures [truncate the Jewish national home] would at once be taken…in order to bring about a complete appeasement of Arab opinion in Palestine and in neighboring countries.” His Majesty’s Government, Committee of Imperial Defense, January 24, 1939, CAB 51/11.
October 1938, British Colonial Office pulling back from two state idea of 1937
“partition is impracticable… In order to find a “middle policy” between Arab and Jewish claims in Palestine. British High Commissioner in Cairo, Sir Miles Lampson believed it could not be done “as long as immigration continues…on moral and equitable grounds we could legitimately claim that with over 400,000 Jews in country (that is one-third of total population) Balfour Declaration has been adequately implemented. We promised a national home not a national refuge for Jews and that we have already given. His Majesty’s Government will continue responsibility for all of Palestine…it is proposed to immediately invite representatives of the Palestinian Arabs and of neighboring Arab states (Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Transjordan, and French Government) on the one hand, and representatives of the Jewish Agency to confer with HMG in London….It is of course doubtful whether conference will succeed in reaching an agreement..should conference end in failure, it should strengthen position of HMG .discussions should undoubtedly help HMG to find right middle policy between Arab claims and Jewish claims, even though in the end (HMG) may have to take sole responsibility for working out a policy.” British Colonial Office to High Commissioner Sir Miles Lampson, Cairo, October 28 and 30, 1938, CO 733/386/75872/5
July 1937 – British Peel Royal Commission Report 1937
“Briefly summarized the major recommendation of the commission is that the existing Mandate should be terminated and that there should be in substitution for …independent sovereign Arab and Jewish States…“If partition is to be effective in promoting a final settlement it must mean more than drawing a frontier and establishing two States. Sooner or later there should be a transfer of land and, as far as possible, an exchange of population. ”Palestine Royal Commission, 1937, Text of Official Summary of Its report.
The seed for the eventual partition of Palestine had been planted. His Majesty’s Government purpose was clear: resettle landless Palestinian Arabs away from existing Jewish settlements to avoid armed communal conflict. The likelihood of armed conflict might further necessitate HMGs intervention as an unwelcome expense to the British taxpayer. Neither Arab nor Jew was myopic about the implications of such policy. Nahum Sokolow, the newly elected president of the World Zionist Organization, clearly supported a policy whereby landless Arabs would not be resettled in Jewish districts, while ‘Awni ‘Abd al-Hadi protested against making the coastal plain into a Jewish preserve.” (London Jewish Agency Executive to Palestine Jewish Agency Executive, 4 December 1931, CZA, S25/7596; NYT, 26 July 1931.)
Special thanks to Michele Freesman and Eli Sperling for their assistance in compiling this list.
Ken Stein, November 2020