On the sidelines of his meeting with the prime minister of Israel in New York, President Donald Trump said that he supports the “two-state solution” if the Palestinians and Israelis agree to it. Some observers made a fuss over this statement because they misunderstand it. According to the Palestinian Authority, implementing the two-state solution means establishing an independent, fully sovereign state on Palestinian lands occupied in the June War, within the June 4, 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its eternal capital.
Trump’s idea of the two-state solution is consistent with that of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the leaders of the Likud party, which Netanyahu heads, and other right-wing extremist parties. Netanyahu is constantly claiming he is for the two-state solution; however, one state will be a “very deformed” example of self-rule, amounting to less-than-civilian administration. Sovereignty over all Palestinian lands will reside with Israel, and there will be other impossible conditions, the most important being a demilitarized Palestinian entity. The Palestinian leadership of this entity also must recognize the nationality law, which the Israeli Knesset recently passed. That means acknowledging and accepting that Israel is a nation-state for Jews only!
In addition to these conditions – recognizing the nationality law and disarming – there are other unacceptable Israeli conditions and demands, in particular giving up the right of return for Palestinian refugees, removing the Jerusalem issue from the negotiating table now that it will remain the eternal, unified capital of Israel and abandoning efforts to remove settlements from occupied Palestinian lands.
In other words, Netanyahu wants to mock the Palestinians and the world by granting the Palestinians weak self-rule. Of course, Netanyahu is against returning the Gaza Strip to this Palestinian entity, thereby establishing an encircled Palestinian microstate on Gazan territory. The Palestinian that wants to be in his own country must go to Gaza, which could be enlarged territorially in the future by pressuring Egypt to relinquish 500 square kilometers (approximately 193 square miles) of the Sinai Peninsula!
The nationality law is an essential step toward the two-state solution, according to the Israeli understanding, because, as Netanyahu says, every Palestinian will obtain a passport from this entity – whatever it is called – including our Palestinian brothers that have been within the Green Line since 1948. The citizens of the weak Palestinian entity will elect their Palestinian legislature but will not have the right to vote for the Israeli Knesset. So, the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, will be for Jews and their loyal followers!
Trump’s understanding does not differ from Netanyahu’s understanding. In fact, reports confirm that Netanyahu is the one that convinced Trump to accept the Israeli understanding of the two-state solution in order to push moderate Arab states to publicly adopt normalizing resolutions, which fooled the whole world into believing that President Trump supports the two-state option. So, why does the Palestinian boycott of the Trump administration persist?
The next stage will be very difficult. It is necessary to realize that Netanyahu will not accept the two-state option according to the Palestinian understanding. In reality, Netanyahu does not even accept a weak entity for the Palestinians right now because the Israeli right, which dominates government in Israel, wants to remove the Palestinian people and will not hesitate to displace the Palestinians again if it has the opportunity to achieve these dangerous ambitions!