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Herzog: Now’s not the time for two-state solution

Israel's president said Israel must first deal with its emotional trauma after Oct. 7 and its need for security.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog attends the funeral of former Knesset Speaker Shevah Weiss at the Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem, Feb. 5, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog attends the funeral of former Knesset Speaker Shevah Weiss at the Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem, Feb. 5, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israel’s head of state has added his name to the ranks of officials speaking out against a two-state solution following the war in Gaza.

“What I want to urge is against just saying two-state solution. Why? Because there is an emotional chapter here that must be dealt with. My nation is bereaving. My nation is in trauma,” President Isaac Herzog told the Associated Press in a Dec. 14 interview.

Politicians across Israel’s political spectrum, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to opposition leader Yair Lapid, have come out against handing the Gaza Strip over to the Palestinian Authority—a move advocated by the United States as a first step towards a two-state solution.

Herzog, whose position is that of a ceremonial figurehead meant to represent consensus positions, argued that speaking about the creation of a Palestinian state is a mistake if for no other reason than that the Oct. 7 attack is too fresh.

“In order to get back to the idea of dividing the land, of negotiating peace or talking to the Palestinians, etc., one has to deal first and foremost with the emotional trauma that we are going through and the need and demand for [a] full sense of security for all people,” he said.

Herzog once led Israel’s Labor Party, which calls for a two-state solution, but following the Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas such a position has become politically untenable, particularly as the P.A. has allocated $3 million for slain Hamas terrorists as part of its “pay-for-slay” program while its Fatah party boasts of members taking part in the attack.

At the same time, the P.A. has falsely blamed the Israeli military for killing nearly 400 partygoers at a rave on Oct. 7, not Hamas.

In a new survey, slightly more than three in four Palestinians have a positive view of Hamas in the wake of its terrorist attack.

Almost 80% regard the role of Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades “military” wing as positive. The Al-Qassam Brigades killed more than 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and wounded thousands on Oct. 7.

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