Graham: Israel Will Have to Accept Two-State Solution to Normalize Ties with Arab Countries

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Israel has to accept a two-state solution if it wants to normalize ties with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

Partial transcript as follows:

KRISTEN WELKER: Another week of just devastating headlines out of the Middle East –

GRAHAM: Yeah, terrible.

WELKER: Including revelations that three hostages were killed by IDF soldiers. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was in the region this week. His message, the White House’s message, is Israel needs to do more to protect civilian lives. Do you agree with how the Biden administration is handling this moment and this crisis?

GRAHAM: Generally speaking, yes. And the Biden administration went to Saudi Arabia. The idea of normalizing relationship between Saudi and Israel is still the big prize. I think the attack of October the 7th was orchestrated to stop a march toward normalization. Iran’s biggest fear if the Arabs reconcile with Israelis. So, give Israel the time and space to destroy Hamas. That’s non-negotiable. But we need to be thinking about the day after.

WELKER: Is Israel doing enough to limit civilian deaths, though, Senator?

GRAHAM: I would hope they could do more, but here’s the problem. Hamas is under schools. They’re under hospitals. But let’s talk about the day after. The Biden administration is trying to revive the normalization efforts, and I think they’re right to do so. If you want to really hurt Iran long term, don’t let them get away with destroying efforts to reconcile between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

WELKER: But think that’s possible, Saudi Arabia on board with that?

GRAHAM: Yeah. Yeah, I do. Here’s what’s changed after October the 7th. Israel will demand security buffers they’ve never demanded before because they can’t afford another October the 7th. And to my friends in Israel: you do whatever you think is best for the state of Israel, but I can tell you, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries cannot normalize with Israel if they’re seen – if they’re having been seen as throwing the Palestinians under the bus. We have two choices: continue the death spiral, or use October 7th as a catalyst for change. I think the Arabs are going to demand some form of two-state solution to recognize Israel. I think Israel’s going to demand security buffers different than before, and they need to make those demands. I don’t know how this ends, but I’ll tell you this. If we don’t get this right this time, we’re talking about another generation of just tit-for-tat death.

Follow Pam Key On Twitter @pamkeyNEN


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.