EU: Stop Talking About Peace, Start Talking About the 'Two-State Solution', Even if Israel Doesn't Agree

A two-state solution for Israel-Gaza has “the whole international community” and the United Nations behind it and should be pursued even if Israel disagrees, the European Union’s top diplomat says.

Commission Vice-Present Josep Borrell, the combative Spanish Socialist politician who presently serves as the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is diving both feet first into a purported “two-state solution” for the Israel-Gaza conflict. In comments that follow others by U.S. Secretary of State Blinken and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pushing the concept on Israel, Borrell said it was time to stop talking about the peace process and “start talking more concretely about the “two-state solution” process.”

Speaking to press outside a meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Monday morning, which was also due to welcome the Israeli foreign minister, representatives of Arab and Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Borrell said of overruling Israel’s views on the matter: “We have to discuss even if they disagree.”

Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz speaks to the media as he holds pictures of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, ahead of a Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on January 22, 2024. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)

He said: “What we want to do is to build a two-state solution, so let’s talk about it… So, from now on, I will not talk about the peace process, but about the two-state solution process. If we are serious about that, we have to study the underlying causes that prevent this solution from being implemented.” While Borrell acknowledged that Hamas “is one of” the problems preventing a two-state solution, he nevertheless said “there are others” in an apparently oblique reference to the Israeli government.

Borrell dismissed Israel’s objection to the two-state solution as unreasonable, and without international support. Claiming “the whole international community is behind it” and saying the U.S. backed it, he said of Israel: “They have to come here, and they will discuss with us, and we will study whatever solution they have in mind. Which are the other solutions they have in mind? To make all the Palestinians leave? To kill them?”.

Fighting Hamas at all is a waste of time, in Borrell’s opinion, as stated: “Certainly, the way of trying to destroy Hamas is not the way they are doing, because they are seeding the hate for generations. We have in mind what Hamas is, what Hamas has done, and certainly we reject [it] and we condemn [it]. But peace and stability cannot be built only by military means, and not in this particular way of using military means.”

Borrell’s remarks followed others by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the weekend, who publicly scolded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not doing as he was told by the U.N. As reported, he said the rejection of the right to full statehood for Palestine is unacceptable, and that: “the right of the Palestinian people to build their own state must be recognized by all”.

The Biden administration has also been pushing for a Palestinian state, with the President himself calling it “the only way to guarantee the long-term security of both the Israeli and the Palestinian people”, and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken telling the Davos forum last week there needs to be a Palestinian state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pushed back on the idea, however, vowing to keep up the offensive until he achieves “the end… complete victory”.

Netanyahu said last week: “We will restore security to both the south and the north. No one will stop us — not The Hague, not the axis of evil and not anyone else… We are on the path to victory and we will not stop until we achieve victory.”


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