TEL AVIV – In interviews with Breitbart Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad each rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion that Israel will become a binational state if the so-called two-state solution is not implemented.
That “solution” calls for the creation of a separate Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and eastern sections of Jerusalem.
Speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Kerry asked, “If there is a risk that the PA could collapse — and it is in Israel’s interest for it to in fact survive, as the prime minister suggested — should more therefore not be done to sustain it?”
“The one-state solution is no solution at all for a secure, Jewish, democratic Israel living in peace. It is simply not a viable option,” he added.
Kerry’s remarks were met with consternation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who declared at a cabinet meeting on Sunday that “Israel will not be a binational state.”
“But in order for there to be peace, the other side must decide that they also want peace, and unfortunately that is not what we are seeing,” Netanyahu added.
The Israeli leader was not alone in dismissing Kerry’s Middle East analysis.
Mahmud Alhabash, an adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told Breitbart Jerusalem that Kerry should pressure Israel if he wishes to prevent a binational state.
“We strive to reach an independent state, and the American policy does not involve sufficient pressure on Israel in order for the latter to promote the idea of two states. As far as we are concerned, we continue to strive for an independent state within the 1967 borders whose capital is Jerusalem, and the Israeli side is the one impeding all progress in the negotiations and continues to strengthen the settlements, demolishing homes and killing innocent people.”
Alhabash, however, did not mention that Abbas has rebuffed Netanyahu’s repeated calls to resume negotiations. Nor did he acknowledge Netanyahu’s unprecedented freeze on settlements – Jewish construction projects in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank – as a “gesture” to restart long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks.
Alhabash’s claim that Israel impedes the creation of a Palestinian state ignores the fact that Abbas walked away from the offer of a state from then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2007. And the Abbas adviser similarly glosses over the fact that Yasser Arafat rejected U.S.-mediated talks at Camp David in 2000, instead returning to the West Bank to launch an intifada, or terror war, targeting Israelis. The Camp David talks offered Arafat a generous state in Gaza, the West Bank, and eastern Jerusalem, including authority over the Temple Mount, according to reports.
Meanwhile, Hader Habeeb, a senior leader of the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad, told Breitbart Jerusalem that he believes “the Zionist enemy would not accept the idea (of a binational state) due to its own considerations.”
Responding to Kerry’s assertion, Habeeb continued:
“We too in the Islamic Jihad and I think in the other Palestinian organizations as well, reject the idea. Our people have not sacrificed a great deal just so someone will eventually try and force this solution on us, which legitimizes the continuation of the occupation over our land.”
We are determined to expel the occupation while the Americans are maintaining their policy, which leans in favor of Israel.
Hamas Spokesman Husam Badran also reacted to Kerry’s “binational” claim.
Badran told Breitbart Jerusalem that “the failure of the political negotiations is a product of the Zionist occupation policy and the enemy’s refusal to recognize the basic rights of the Palestinian people.”
“The American standpoint has on its part continued to support the Israeli policy and has always stood by the occupation. No solution will ever succeed unless it includes the complete liberty of the Palestinian people and the expulsion of the occupation.”