update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Week after Hamas attack, Biden administration ‘strongly’ supports two-state solution

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked about the two-state solution during an interview with Al-Arabiya on Oct. 15.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, on Oct. 13, 2023. Credit: Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, on Oct. 13, 2023. Credit: Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department.

The first question U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked during an Al-Arabiya interview in Cairo on Oct. 15 set a tone. The last question yielded a telling answer.

“Mr.  Secretary. Well, actually, you have, well, a very hectic regional trip that included eight countries, that started with Israel, and one of its most important aims was to support Israel,” began Randa Abul Azm. “Have you discussed with Israeli leaders the de-escalation of their military operation in Gaza?”

After responding that he had “very good and important conversations throughout the region,” the U.S. secretary said that Israel had the right to defend itself and that Hamas reflected ISIS.

“But the way that Israel does this is also very important, to include taking every precaution that civilians not be harmed and making sure that those who need assistance can get it,” he said. “We’re working very, very actively on that.”

At the end of the interview, Abul Azm asked: “With this unprecedented escalation in the region, do you think that the two-state solution is still valid?”

“We—it’s long been American policy, United States policy, that the answer or a critical part of the answer to the future for the region and certainly the future for Palestinians and Israelis is two states,” Blinken responded. “And we continue to strongly support that.”

It comes as the total of those murdered in the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel by Hamas terrorists exceeded 1,400, with thousands murdered and as many as 150 people taken hostage, including American citizens.

Rishi Sunak, prime minister of the United Kingdom, and Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition, called on Monday for a two-state solution.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, said last week in an interview with Newsmax, “we will not pressure them to do a so-called ‘two-state solution’ with Palestinian Arabs. There is no two-state solution. Those Palestinian Arabs in places like the Gaza Strip, they don’t want their own state as much as they just want want to eradicate the Jewish state.”

“Hamas doesn’t want a two-state solution,” wrote author and commentator Meghan McCain. “They want the final solution.”

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