Khanna: Never a Wrong Time to Recognize Palestinian State, Should Have South Africa-Style Commission for Israel

On Wednesday’s broadcast of “CNN News Central,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) argued that there’s never a wrong time to recognize a Palestinian state but Hamas shouldn’t be involved in it and while the ICC shouldn’t arrest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, we should have something like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa.

Co-host John Berman asked, “Do you think this shows that terrorism pays?”

Khanna answered, “No, it doesn’t. We should recognize a Palestinian state. That has been the United States’ policy, a two-state solution, 143 countries at the United Nations voted for it. Nelson Mandela called for a Palestinian state when he was in the United States in 1990, and it is time that we recognize that. I don’t believe Hamas should have any role in a Palestinian state, but recognizing the self-determination of the Palestinian people and a Palestinian state is in no way saying that Hamas should be involved.”

Berman asked, “Do you think the timing of it, as it comes following October 7, during the Israeli war with Hamas, do you think the timing sends the wrong message?”

Khanna responded, “No, I don’t think it’s ever the wrong time to recognize the self-determination of people. You have had — my grandfather was part of India’s struggle against British colonialism. And, every year, during that period, they would say, well, is the timing right to give India freedom? We need to recognize a Palestinian state. That has been the U.S. policy.”

Later, after the discussion turned to the ICC warrant, Khanna stated, “I don’t think they should arrest Prime Minister Netanyahu, and I’ve been very, very critical of Prime Minister Netanyahu, but there’s no equivalence in my view between the Hamas terrorist organization and a democratic state, even though I have deep, deep disagreements with Netanyahu. But I also don’t think that the United States should be sanctioning the ICC and we should allow them to do their work and figure out what laws were broken and to have a report. That doesn’t mean that they should go arresting Israeli leaders. I just don’t think that that’s going to help get to a two-state solution or a peace process. I would look at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, which, in my view, is a much better model.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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