Romney Sees Only Two-State Solution

YERUSHALAYIM -
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks with reporters alongside Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., about their recent congressional delegation trip to the Middle East, on April 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Sen. Mitt Romney, just back from a tour of the Mideast, has said that he knows of no alternative to the two-state solution, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

“I would say I don’t know what the alternative is other than a two-state solution,” the Utah Republican told reporters. “No one articulated to us anywhere in the region an idea or a proposal for something other than a two-state solution.”

Romney made the trip in his new role as chairman of the Middle East subcommittee in the Senate. Sen. Chris Murphy, (D-Conn.), the ranking member on the subcommittee, who traveled with Romney, nodded in agreement, saying “right.”

But the bipartisan spirit might put them on a collision course with the Trump administration, whose peace plan may not include a Palestinian state, and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu went on record against it during the last election campaign.

Romney would not comment on Netanyahu’s plans. He and Murphy did not meet with Netanyahu on the trip but did speak with him on the phone. They met with leaders in Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

Romney said that the alternative to a two-state solution was bleak:

“They described what would occur if there were not a two-state solution, and that would be an Israel — or a one state — an Israel where you have 6.6 million Palestinians and 6.6 million Jews and the Palestinians have larger families than the Jews, and so over time it would become predominantly Palestinian,” he said. “That would not seem to be something which the Israelis were looking for and something which the Palestinians felt was unlikely to be the outcome that would be satisfying to the Israeli government.”

On U.S. funding for the Palestinians, the senators said that PA payments to families of terrorists have hurt their cause.

“I don’t believe it is constructive to cut off humanitarian funding as a means to try to push the Palestinian Authority into crisis such that it will affect a peace framework,” Murphy said, “but the Palestinian Authority has made this crisis worse than it needs to be.”