Thursday, February 18, 2016

Merkel admits: Now isn't the time for 'two-state solution' - Elad Benari

by Elad Benari

A Western shift in approach? German Chancellor admits now is not the time to move forward with "two-state solution".

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was likely satisfied by what he heard from German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Merkel, who in the past has insisted that the “two-state solution” is the best way to end the conflict, appeared to signal at Tuesday’s Government-to-Government meeting that she would turn down the pressure on Israel to push for a diplomatic process with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

"Now is not the time for a significant step forward [in the two-state solution]," she said during a joint press conference with Netanyahu in Berlin, according to i24news.

Nevertheless, Merkel stressed that while substantial progress can't be achieved at this time, "it is possible to make improvements in specific fields," and promised Germany's help in doing so, particularly in the economic area.

Merkel’s remarks echo recent statements by officials in the United States, who admitted that President Barack Obama recognizes that reaching a two-state solution before he leaves office is unlikely.

Similar expressions have been sounded in Israel as well, where opposition chairman Yitzhak Herzog has also admitted that the “two-state solution” is not feasible at this time and has offered his own, alternative plan for peace.

Netanyahu last week mocked Herzog over his recognition that the two-state solution is not feasible, when he "congratulated" the Labor party leader for finally "waking up" to the reality of the Middle East.

"A year ago I said that the current circumstances do not seem to allow the realization of a two states for two peoples solution. You certainly would be surprised to know or remember that even then you attacked me furiously,” Netanyahu said at the Knesset plenum.

"Now, at the beginning of the week, on Sunday, something happened. Members of the Labor party decided that the arrangement of two states for two people cannot be implemented under the current situation," Netanyahu said.

"Good morning Buji, and welcome to the Middle East!" he continued, using Herzog's nickname. "The alarm is ringing and maybe you're finally beginning to understand where we live.

Elad Benari


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