ABIR SULTAN / POOL / AFPIsraeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on September 4, 2022.
‘An Israeli prime minister hasn’t said this at the UN plenum for many years’
Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid is expected to call for a two-state solution with Palestinians during his Wednesday speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, according to an official close to the Israeli premier.
Ahead of the November elections in Israel, and after years of the long withstanding solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict laying stagnant, Lapid will further express his support for reaching a political agreement with the Palestinians.
“An Israeli prime minister hasn’t said this at the UN plenum for many years,” the source said.
Lapid will also present the risks of pursuing such a solution, will stress that he will not “endanger Israel’s security,” and will call for a “separation [from the Palestinians] from a position of strength.”
“We will continue to advocate for a lasting peace between the Jewish, democratic State of Israel and the Palestinian people,” Biden said.
“The US is committed to Israel’s security full-stop, and a two-state solution remains the best way to ensure Israel’s security and prosperity… and give Palestinians the state to which they are entitled.”
Lapid will also call on more Arab countries to normalize ties will Israel, following on the heels of the second anniversary of the Abraham Accords, which saw the Jewish state formalize relations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan.
He is also expected to address “incitement against Israel” in United Nations institutions, and his 25-minute will touch on the stalling of the Iran nuclear deal: “If necessary, and we have agreed on this with the American, and will act ourselves,” the Yesh Atid party chairman is expected to say.
Soon after reports emerged of the planned contents of Lapid’s speech, lawmakers didn’t hold back from expressing how they felt about the prime minister’s diplomatic efforts.
“The path I led as Prime Minister: Not to quarrel with the whole world unnecessarily, but also not to fold unnecessarily. There is no place or logic to re-flood the idea of a Palestinian state. The year is 2022, not 1993. Even the true friends of the State of Israel do not expect us to compromise on our security and our future,” said former Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett in a Tweet.
Nitzan Horowitz, Israel’s health minister and leader of the left-wing Meretz party, said on Twitter: “[Lapid] indicates the correct direction. The two-state solution is the way to end the bloody conflict and preserve the Zionist vision: a Jewish and democratic Israel.”
“This is a step of leadership, of creating a political horizon, after many years of stagnation. There is definitely someone to talk to, on both sides. It’s time,” he added.
Israel Katz, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, accused Lapid of “reviving the dangerous idea of establishing a Palestinian state” to “stimulate a vote of the Arab sector.”
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