Trump drops tie to 'two-state' Mideast deal

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"We'll talk about both as well as upgrading the relations between Israel and the United States in many, many fields".

A real democratic state, on the other hand, can not have the Jewish character Israel seeks - an idea Trump parroted, making is a precondition for any peace "deal" - and on which it does not seem to want to compromise.

At a time when the Middle East is in turmoil and Palestinian politics is fractured by long-standing divisions between the Western-backed Fatah party and the Islamist group Hamas, Israeli officials argue that the time is not ripe for peace.

President Donald Trump broke with decades of American foreign policy by sidestepping a commitment to an Israeli-Palestinian two-state solution in a joint news conference with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. The fulfillment of Zionism by establishing a secure, democratic homeland for the Jewish people in the land of Israel requires setting its borders around a Jewish majority. The more meaningful and politically significant challenge to Trump and his policies is coming from a growing grassroots movement that is rallying across the country and on social media.

On the one state/two state issue, Makovsky said a majority of Israelis want two states, along with a plurality of Palestinians, but the problem is, "Each side believes the other side doesn't believe in it". "I'm very happy with the one that both parties like", Trump said.

Great. Now all he has to do is get both parties to agree on what they want.

Isn't that what USA presidents have been trying to do for decades?

By jettisoning all past policy and offering nothing concrete to replace it, Trump is eerily echoing his promise to repeal Obamacare - with no workable plan to provide an alternative.

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Maybe Mr Trump is the man to break the impasse.

Mr Trump has not openly criticised Mr Netanyahu's settlement policies as a handicap to peace, but he said they did not help.

"It might be a bigger and better deal than people in this room even understand".

There are practical reasons why the two-state solution is the preferred model for peace.

Under these vexing circumstances many Israelis conclude no peace is possible, but they still want to be rid of the Palestinian population of the West Bank.

It is important to remember that Israel has no interest in having a Palestinian State.

Those reassurances came as Netanyahu took a cautious line on whether he would support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the bedrock of USA diplomacy for two decades, when he sits down with Trump.

In rhetoric, Bennett can take the Palestinian flag off the flagpole; however, he can't make 2 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank disappear. Further, even if they had good intentions, how could they prove they are capable of preventing a separate state from becoming a staging ground for relentless attacks against Israel?

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But a one-state solution potentially presents Israel with an existential choice.

There were a few positive signs.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington ahead of a meeting tomorrow with President Trump.

That is why Mr Netanyahu today repeated his demand the Palestinians recognise Israelis right to exist and that his security forces have overarching control of any Palestinian nation.

He also reiterated his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. "In other words, Trump is pushing Israel to be an apartheid state".

But Trump also showed support for the two-state scenario when he nudged Netanyahu to curb the building of new housing settlements in the West Bank. The selection of Friedman, whose first Senate confirmation hearing came on Thursday, is a thumb in the eye to Palestinians and makes it even harder for Trump to portray himself as an impartial peace broker. Much about peace talks, especially Middle East peace talks, concerns wrangling over the basic premises.

But many in the Palestinian territories, and across the region, were shaken by the president's nearly casual dismissal of the longstanding USA commitment to the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, a diplomatic bedrock known as the two-state solution.

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