BREAKING NEWS : Tornado warning issued for parts of Allen, Whitley and Huntington counties Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne police investigate shooting on Sherman Boulevard Full Story

Donald Trump's flip-flop on two-state solution won't resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflict

President Donald Trump is taking a twin-track approach on one of his thorniest foreign policy issues, seesaw...

Posted: Oct 1, 2018 7:47 AM
Updated: Oct 1, 2018 7:47 AM

President Donald Trump is taking a twin-track approach on one of his thorniest foreign policy issues, seesawing on his position on long-term peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

When asked at a press conference this week during the UN General Assembly about what sort of peace deal he wants, a one-state or two-state deal where both Palestinians and Israelis have their own separate states, he equivocated.

Conflicts and wars

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Embassies and consulates

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

International relations

International relations and national security

Israel

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

Palestinian Territory

Political Figures - US

State departments and diplomatic services

Unrest, conflicts and war

US federal government

White House

Government organizations - Intl

Mahmoud Abbas

North America

Political Figures - Intl

The Americas

United Nations

United States

"You know what? If they do a single, if they do a double, I'm OK with it if they're both happy. If they're both happy, I'm OK with either. I think the two-state is more likely."

He has said words to this effect before, yet hours earlier he said he preferred the two-state solution.

"I like two-state solution. I like two-state solution," Trump said. "That's what I think works best. I don't even have to speak to anybody, that's my feeling."

It's not an insignificant flip-flop, given that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN this week the two-state solution in the common understanding -- a completely independent Palestinian state -- is most definitely not on his radar.

"What I'd like to see is that the Palestinians will have all the powers to govern themselves, but none of the powers to threaten us," Netanyahu said.

Trump's "single or double" analogy creates the impression a deal is as simple as walking into a bar and ordering up whatever you fancy on the spur of the moment. It is anything but.

For the past few decades US presidents have been trying to coax, cajole and sometimes corner both sides into compromise with little lasting success.

Trump's tactic in this, as in much else, has been different. He did what many presidents thought about but never acted on: late last year he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv, much to the delight of most Israelis.

The world waited for his next step, expecting him to leverage that move and kick-start talks.

Early this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he laid out that next step: threatening financial incentives for Palestinians if they did not engage in peace talks.

"We give them hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and support, tremendous numbers, numbers that nobody understands, that money is on the table and that money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace," Trump said at a press conference.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has turned his back on Trump's tactic, and refused to engage publicly with senior US officials.

Trump, as he often does, followed through on his word, taking money -- in the form of US aid funding and contributions to the UN organization responsible for Palestinian refugees -- off the table.

Back when he was newly elected, Trump had sounded confident he could break the impasse, but absent a new initiative it appears his transactional approach has stalled, although this week he said he hoped to put a new peace plan forward in the next two to four months.

Now at an apparent impasse, Abbas has decided to take Trump, or at least the United States, to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

A lawsuit filed Friday contends "[t]he relocation of the United States Embassy in Israel to ... Jerusalem constitutes a breach of the Vienna Convention."

The Convention says that embassies must be located on the territory of the host state.

Palestinians are expected to argue that Jerusalem's status has never been fully resolved by the international community since the United Nations decided in 1947 the city should stand apart from neighboring states: a corpus separatum, or 'separate body.'

If the ICJ decides this argument carries weight, then it could decide that no country should be locating its Israel embassy in Jerusalem.

While the case could bring to light some interesting legal debate, it would be a surprise if it had any immediate impact on the facts on the ground.

Abbas' longer-term tactic will likely be to outlast Trump, and hope for something better at the White House in 2020.

In the meantime, he can fall back on an old Palestinian standard of rallying international sympathy and support, and try to drive a wedge between the US and other countries, which under a Trump presidency may get easier.

Leader after leader at the UNGA, including Trump's allies like President Emmanuel Macron of France and Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, made oblique and direct criticism of Trump's isolationism.

Abbas' challenge is to leverage that divide into a deal both Palestinians and Israelis can live with.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74328

Reported Deaths: 3041
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15860725
Lake7570275
Elkhart484384
Allen3902163
St. Joseph350081
Hamilton2763104
Vanderburgh196313
Hendricks1887108
Cass17959
Johnson1757118
Porter131639
Clark123347
Tippecanoe121111
Madison97965
LaPorte91130
Howard89065
Kosciusko85212
Bartholomew79347
Marshall78422
Floyd77946
Monroe75630
Delaware73052
Dubois69612
Boone67846
Noble67829
Hancock66038
Vigo65110
Jackson5865
Warrick58130
LaGrange55910
Shelby55327
Grant52630
Dearborn50828
Morgan47634
Clinton4343
Henry38320
Wayne37710
White36910
Montgomery35421
Lawrence34627
Harrison33823
Decatur33732
Putnam2888
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25034
Jasper2432
Franklin24214
DeKalb2324
Gibson2254
Jennings22512
Steuben2103
Ripley2087
Carroll1912
Fayette1897
Perry18612
Starke1787
Orange17124
Posey1710
Wabash1693
Fulton1682
Wells1682
Jefferson1632
Knox1540
Whitley1526
Washington1401
Tipton13810
Spencer1363
Sullivan1261
Huntington1223
Randolph1224
Clay1215
Newton11810
Adams1012
Jay910
Owen901
Pulaski831
Rush804
Fountain742
Brown731
Ohio655
Blackford642
Benton610
Pike530
Switzerland520
Vermillion520
Parke511
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren221
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 100848

Reported Deaths: 3669
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18317524
Cuyahoga13514499
Hamilton9643255
Lucas5348323
Montgomery436294
Summit3555222
Butler292963
Marion292545
Mahoning2554255
Pickaway238742
Stark1827139
Warren178939
Lorain177078
Columbiana165860
Trumbull1524106
Fairfield138732
Delaware130119
Licking128149
Clark114614
Lake111438
Wood104358
Clermont93311
Medina92335
Miami83938
Tuscarawas78214
Portage75861
Allen74044
Greene69012
Belmont62126
Mercer61213
Richland60412
Erie57527
Ashtabula56946
Geauga55644
Wayne53958
Ross4844
Huron3965
Darke39529
Ottawa38626
Hancock3783
Sandusky37716
Madison37410
Athens3571
Holmes3286
Lawrence2830
Auglaize2546
Union2511
Muskingum2361
Jefferson2292
Scioto2261
Seneca2143
Knox2057
Putnam20517
Preble2032
Washington20322
Shelby1944
Coshocton1936
Champaign1762
Crawford1745
Morrow1702
Hardin16512
Clinton1646
Highland1581
Logan1552
Fulton1481
Wyandot1468
Ashland1443
Defiance1444
Williams1353
Perry1303
Brown1292
Hocking1189
Guernsey1177
Henry1172
Fayette1130
Carroll1115
Monroe9318
Pike760
Jackson740
Van Wert711
Paulding690
Gallia651
Adams612
Meigs400
Vinton312
Harrison261
Morgan260
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Angola
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Scattered Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 67°
Decatur
68° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 68°
Van Wert
68° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 68°
Isolated Showers Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events