Lapid to Call for Two-state Solution in UN Speech

The longstanding solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been sidelined by governments led by Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Prime Minister Yair Lapid in New York, for the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid in New York, for the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Israel's Prime Minister Yair Lapid will express his desire to advance a two-state solution in his address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, after years of the longstanding solution to the Israeli-Palestinian laying dormant.

On the eve of the November elections, Lapid is expected to renew his support for reaching a political solution with the Palestinians.

"An Israeli prime minister hasn't said this at the UN plenum for many years," sources close to the prime minister said.

In response to Lapid, Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar said that establishing a "terror state in Judea and Samaria [the biblical name for the West Bank] will endanger Israel's safety and that most Israeli people and their representatives will not allow that to happen."

The Likud party stated that after Lapid "formed the first Israeli-Palestinian government, now he wants to establish a Palestinian state on the border of Kfar Saba, Netanya and Ben-Gurion Airport, and hand over territories of our homeland to our enemies. For years, Netanyahu managed to remove the Palestinian issue from the world agenda, and Lapid brought Mahmoud Abbas back to the forefront in less than a year."

The Yesh Atid chairman awill also call on further Arab countries to normalize ties will Israel, following on the heels of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, as well as addressing "incitement against Israel" in United Nations institutions.

The 25-minute speech will also touch on the stalling Iran nuclear deal, and the potential for Israel's regional foe to acquire an atomic bomb. "If necessary, and we have agreed on this with the Americans, we will act ourselves," Lapid said.

U.S. President Joe Biden, who addressed the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, said "We will continue to advocate for lasting and negotiated peace between the Jewish and democratic state of Israel and the Palestinian people." He continued saying the U.S. is committed to Israel's security and that a Palestinian state is essential to ensure Israel's future safety and prosperity.

Despite efforts, the prime minister will not meet with Biden in New York. According to sources close to Lapid, the background for this is schedule constraints, among other things, the prime minister's desire to hurry and return to Israel after his speech for his son's wedding this Friday.

A senior political official said Wednesday that Prime Minister Lapid is troubled by the fate of Russian Jews due to their announcement on emergency recruitment and fear they may close the flight route to Russia. "We are making a great effort in this regard. That's why we keep ElAl's flight line to Russia. The flights must continue," the official said. Lapid discussed the matter with the head of ElAl several days ago.

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