Kerry: Door for 'Two-State Solution' May be Closing
Senator John Kerry hinted Thursday he has a plan up his sleeve to rekindle the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority but warned he was worried the door for a "two-state solution" may be closing, AFP reports.
If the opportunity is lost, it would be "disastrous," Kerry told U.S. lawmakers meeting to confirm his nomination to be the next secretary of state.
"We need to try to find a way forward, and I happen to believe that there is a way forward," said Kerry, according to AFP.
"But I also believe that if we can't be successful that the door, or window, or whatever you want to call it, to the possibility of a two-state solution could shut on everybody and that would be disastrous in my judgment," he added.
Kerry refused to go public on how he could maybe kick-start the peace process, citing concerns about harming any move to bring the two sides together.
"I'm not going to say anything that prejudices our getting a negotiation going in the appropriate way and the appropriate manner, and I'm not even going to say what it is," Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations committee.
"I will say this. President Obama is deeply committed to a two-state solution," he noted.
For the past four years, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused to come to the negotiating table with Israel and has continuously tried to impose preconditions on talks.
He has insisted that Israel accept the pre-1967 lines as final borders and has demanded that Israel release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin. At the same time, he has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist. His Fatah party's newly adopted logo shows all of Israel as Palestine.
Even when Israel imposed a ten-month freeze on Jewish construction in an attempt to bring Abbas back to the negotiating table, he refused, choosing instead to impose more preconditions.
He has embraced Hamas rather than condemning its rocket attacks on Israel and has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist, choosing instead to incite his people against Israel on official PA television networks and newspapers.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has more than once publicly called on Abbas to come back to the negotiating table. Abbas has refused, choosing instead to carry out unilateral moves such as going to the United Nations to upgrade the PA’s status to a “non-member observer state”.