Lapid to Endorse Two-State Solution at UN

By Yisrael Price

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid at a meeting with heads of Jewish organizations in New York on Wednesday. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

YERUSHALAYIM – Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapidintends to tell the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday that he supports the two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict, the first time he will have said so publicly since taking office, and the first time since former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu did so in 2017.

Lapid decided to make the declaration at this juncture, ahead of the November 11 elections, because he believes it is “part of the honesty that is needed from politicians…to say what they stand for and where the country needs to go,” according to a senior Israeli official.

“Separation from the Palestinians needs to be part of Israel’s political vision,” the official said, adding that any final peace agreement would not mean compromising national security.

The speech hasn’t been delivered yet, but after word of it circulated, critics on the right within his own governing coalition were already attacking him for it.

Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar of the National Unity party warned it would lead to a terror state in Yehuda and Shomron.

“The establishment of a terror state in Yehuda and Shomron will endanger the security of Israel. The majority of the Israeli people and their representatives will not allow this to happen,” he was quoted by The Times of Israel as saying.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked of Yamina said Lapid does not represent Israel.

“Interim Prime Minister Lapid does not have the public legitimacy to complicate Israel with statements that will cause harm to the state,” she tweeted. “Lapid represents only himself with these statements and not the government. A Palestinian state endangers the state of Israel.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is also at the U.N. this week, but he won’t be meeting with Lapid.

Abbas is expected to give a fiery speech at the UNGA on Friday, accusing Israel of  alleged crimes and for thwarting the peace process, according to Axios on Wednesday.

Abbas had threatened to call for a vote at the Security Council on giving Palestine full U.N. membership, but probably won’t, due to pressure from the Biden administration, Jordan and Egypt.

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