The White House signaled a sharp break with decades of support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Authority conflict, on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the White House.
A senior White House official said the United States would no longer seek to dictate the terms of any eventual peace settlement, but would support what the two sides agree to together.
“A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
“Peace is the goal, whether that comes in the form of a two-state solution if that’s what the parties want, or something else if that’s what the parties want.”
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will greet Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, at the White House in the morning, and the two leaders will hold a brief press conference before holding two hours of meetings.
In recent decades, subsequent administrations have explicitly outlined their hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, resulting in two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security. Past negotiations have operated on the assumption that such an outcome would roughly fall along the lines that resulted from the Six Day War in 1967, with mutually agreed land swaps reflecting a change in demographics.
But Trump administration officials suggested that peace between the parties might be possible in another framework.
“If I ask five people what a two-state solution is, I get eight different answers,” one said.
The administration seeks a seamless public viewing tomorrow that suggests “no daylight” between the two governments, after eight years of tension between Netanyahu and former US President Barack Obama.
Trump officials expect Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria will be a topic of conversation during the meeting. Iran’s regional activities and its nuclear program will also top the agenda.