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Trump Suggests Two-State Solution No Longer Viable, Bucking Longtime US Policy Position

Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, US, April 2, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Former US President Donald Trump has suggested he no longer believes in a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a significant pivot away from what has largely been a consensus position on the conflict among US politicians for decades.

“There was a time when I thought two states could work. Now I think two states is going to be very, very tough,” Trump said in an interview with Time magazine that was published on Tuesday.

“I also think you have fewer people that liked the idea,” he added. “You had a lot of people that liked the idea four years ago. Today, you have far fewer people that like that idea.”

The reason, Trump claimed, is that Palestinian “children grow up and they’re taught to hate Jewish people at a level that nobody thought was possible.”

Palestinian textbooks in both Gaza and the West Bank have come under fire for teaching children in school to hate Israel while fostering antisemitism and support for terrorism.

Trump explained that the late Sheldon Adelson — a major donor to Republican and Israel-related causes — had made a similar argument to him in the past, but the former president did not always buy it.

“And I had a friend, a very good friend, Sheldon Adelson, who felt that it was impossible to make a deal because the level of hatred was so great. And I think it was much more so on one side than the other, but the level of hatred of Jewish people was so great, and taught from the time they were in kindergarten and before,” Trump said.

Asked if he felt that same way, Trump said, “I disagreed with it. But so far, he [Adelson] hasn’t been wrong.”

The Biden administration has been a stalwart supporter of the two-state solution. During his State of the Union address earlier this year, US President Joe Biden said, “As we look to the future, the only real solution is a two-state solution.”

“There is no other path that guarantees Israel’s security and democracy,” he argued. “There is no other path that guarantees Palestinians can live with peace and dignity. There is no other path that guarantees peace between Israel and all of its Arab neighbors, including Saudi Arabia.”

Similarly, a group of Senate Democrats sent a letter to Biden in March calling on him to “reignite US leadership on a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” by releasing a “bold, public framework” for establishing and recognizing a “nonmilitarized Palestinian state” after the war against Hamas in Gaza is over.

On the other hand, Sam Markstein, the Republican Jewish Coalition’s national political director, told The Algemeiner that Trump “clearly agrees with us that it’s a terrible mistake for the Biden administration to be pushing Israel to accede to the establishment of a Palestinian state while there’s a war on and there’s no genuinely peace-minded Palestinian leaders to put in charge of such a state.”

The proportion of Israelis who support a two-state solution has declined from 61 percent in 2012 to only 25 percent in 2023, according to Gallup. Meanwhile, support among Palestinians last year declined to 24 percent, down from a high of 59 percent in 2012. Young Israelis and Palestinians are less likely to support a two-state solution than their older counterparts.

However, it remains unclear whether there is a credible alternative to the two-state solution as an end-game in the conflict that would not disenfranchise or displace either Israelis or Palestinians.

Trump’s latest comments add to growing uncertainty over how he may approach policy regarding Israel in a possible second term. Last month, he deflected when asked if he supported Israel “100 percent.” He also said Israel had to “finish up your war” against the Hamas terror group and “get on to peace, to get on to a normal life for Israel, and for everybody else.”

In the Time interview, Trump also argued that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “rightfully has been criticized for what took place on Oct. 7” and that he has not taken proper action to secure the release of the hostages.

Hamas launched the current war with its Oct. 7 invasion of southern Israel, where Palestinian terrorists massacred 1,200 people and kidnapped 253 others as hostages, taking them back to Gaza.

“You know, they talk about all of these hostages. I don’t believe these people are able or even wanting to take care of people as negotiations. I don’t — I think the hostages are going to be far fewer than people think, which is a very sad thing,” Trump said.

The post Trump Suggests Two-State Solution No Longer Viable, Bucking Longtime US Policy Position first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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University of Toronto seeks injunction to end protest encampment over ‘harmful, discriminatory’ speech outlined in court filing

The University of Toronto is now seeking a court injunction to put and end to the encampment in King’s College Circle after the 8 a.m. deadline passed Monday morning—while unionized workers joined students, faculty and other protesters at a rainy morning rally. Shortly after the ultimatum hour, the university announced in a statement from UofT […]

The post University of Toronto seeks injunction to end protest encampment over ‘harmful, discriminatory’ speech outlined in court filing appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Monday morning saw the Toronto community and politicians showing support for the Chabad girls’ school struck by weekend gunfire

Mayor Olivia Chow was among those who addressed the crowd.

The post Monday morning saw the Toronto community and politicians showing support for the Chabad girls’ school struck by weekend gunfire appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘A Call for Genocide’: South African Jews Blast Country’s President for Chanting ‘From the River to the Sea’

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Chatsworth, South Africa, May 18, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

South African Jewish leaders castigated their country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, for what they described as him calling for a “genocide” against Jews in Israel over the weekend.

Ramaphosa was speaking at an election rally in Johannesburg on Saturday when he deviated from his prepared speech to lead the crowd in in a chant of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine shall be free” — a popular slogan among anti-Israel activists that has been widely interpreted as a call for the destruction of the Jewish state, which is located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The address took place at FNB Stadium, where South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) held its final rally before South African elections on Wednesday. According to Politicsweb, a news website focused on South Africa, a call for the release of the “hostages held in Gaza” who Hamas terrorists kidnapped from southern Israel on Oct. 7 appeared in Ramaphosa’s prepared remarks but not in his final speech.

The South African Jewish community lambasted Ramaphosa for his remarks in a statement shared with The Algemeiner, expressing “its revulsion at the introduction of a call to exterminate Jews from their homeland” by the president.

“The president of the ruling ANC party and the head of state of a democratic country has called for the elimination of the only Jewish state in the culmination of the ANC president’s election speech made to thousands of ANC members and on national television,” said Wendy Kahn, national director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD). “He uses the populist slogan ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be Free,’ which is widely regarded as a call to genocide of the Jewish people. The call to remove all Jews from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea equates to removing all Jews from Israel.”

Kahn compared the slogan with Hamas’ goal to “see Israel as ‘Judenfrei,’ or Jew free,” before noting that such an endpoint contradicts the South African government’s stated policy of supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The chanting of this slogan by a head of state of a government that recurrently tries to express their commitment to a ‘two-state Solution’ as their policy on Israel and Palestine is hypocritical to the full,” the SAJBD said. “How does a sitting president reject his own government and own party’s international relations policy? This reconfirms our understanding that President Ramaphosa and his government are not looking for a peaceful solution to the tragic conflict, but rather to cause discord among fellow South Africans against its Jewish community.”

Kahn added, “The president’s contempt for South African Jewry is evident in this unscripted outburst at the rally which amounts to nothing more than Jew hatred. The SAJBD is reviewing its options for holding the president accountable for these hateful words.”

South Africa’s ANC government has been one of the harshest critics of Israel since Oct. 7, when Hamas terrorists launched the ongoing war in Gaza with their invasion of and massacre across southern Israeli communities.

South Africa temporarily withdrew its diplomats from Israel and shuttered its embassy in Tel Aviv shortly after the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom, saying that the Pretoria government was “extremely concerned at the continued killing of children and innocent civilians” in Gaza.

In December, South Africa hosted two Hamas officials who attended a government-sponsored conference in solidarity with the Palestinians. One of the officials had been sanctioned by the US government for his role with the terrorist organization.

Earlier this month, members of South Africa’s Jewish community protested Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor’s recent call for students and university leaders to intensify the anti-Israel demonstrations that have engulfed college campuses across the US.

In January, the South African government failed in its bid to argue before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Israel’s defensive war in Gaza constituted a “genocide.” However, the top UN court last week ordered Israel to halt its military operations against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The emergency ruling was part of South Africa’s ongoing case at the ICJ.

The post ‘A Call for Genocide’: South African Jews Blast Country’s President for Chanting ‘From the River to the Sea’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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