Yossi Beilin, one of the architects of a two-state plan for Palestine and Israel, doesn’t believe President Donald Trump can deliver such a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite his endorsement of the plan.
“What does he know? What did he do in life?” the former Israeli official said of Trump.
Beilin was the official who conducted secret talks that resulted in the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords – a set of agreements between the two countries’ governments. His views, which came only days before Trump announced that he believed an independent Palestine “works best,” mirror those of many others who are confident two states would help bring long-term peace.
“It is tragic comedy. When I saw the leader of the free world say, ‘If my son-in-law cannot solve the Israel-Palestinian problem, nobody can do that,’ I didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh,” Beilin added, referring to Jared Kushner who is in charge of efforts to craft a long-awaited plan.
President Trump said on Wednesday that he should have his Mideast peace plan within the next four months, but Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in response that such plans for a future state were seriously affected by the White House’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and withdraw aid to Palestinians.
“With all of these decisions, this administration has reneged on all previous U.S. commitments, and has undermined the two-state solution,” Abbas said in his address at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday.
President Trump’s comments were similarly dismissed by Yossi Mekelberg, a professor of international relations at Regent’s University, who called them “dinner table talk” and maintained they were not indicative of any specific plans expected from a “president of a country that is expected to broker the peace.”
“Everything that [Trump] has done is to undermine the two-state solution either by ignorance or intent,” he continued. “What Trump is doing together with the Israeli government could lead to bloodshed and the end of Israel as a democratic state.”
However, on Wednesday, Trump also noted that Israel would have to make concessions in negotiations with Palestine after his administration recognized Jerusalem as its capital. “Israel got the first chip and it’s a big one,” Trump said.