Obama touts 'two-state solution' at Rabin memorial

In video address at Rabin memorial in Tel Aviv, President Obama says peace is possible only if there are two states.

Ben Ariel ,

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

President Barack Obama on Saturday night touted the “two-state” solution to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestinian Arabs, in a video address at the memorial marking 20 years since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

“A bullet can take a man’s life, but his spirit and his dream of peace will never die,” Obama said at the memorial rally, which took place at the Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.

“On the night he was taken from us, he looked at the thousands gathered and said that the path of peace was preferable to the path of war, and he exhausted every opening, every possibility in the pursuit of a just peace,” Obama added.

"In these difficult days for Israelis, for Palestinians and for the region, Yitzhak's life, his dream, inspire us still," he continued. "What he said to the crowd that night remains true for all of you. In coming here today, you demonstrate that the people truly desire peace and oppose violence."

The President then went on to call for the two-state solution, saying that “the Jewish people have the right to live in their homeland, and Palestinians have the right to be a free people in their own land.”

“And peace is possible, if both parties are willing to truly compromise and take risks for the only real solution - two states for two people; a democratic Jewish state living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable, independent and sovereign Palestinian state,” Obama added.

The comments come amid a continued push by Western countries for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to resume peace talks resulting in the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria.

Just last week, New Zealand presented a draft UN resolution aimed at reviving the stalled peace.

The draft resolution calls on Israelis and the Palestinians to end the violence, prepare for peace talks and declares the two-state solution to be the "only credible pathway to peace".

The 10-point measure calls on both sides to refrain from action that could undermine the peace effort "including continued expansion of settlements and demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied territories."

New Zealand's initiative came after France circulated a draft for a council statement that failed to win agreement, highlighting difficulties to forge a consensus in the council.

Meanwhile, the Mattot Arim nationalist NGO sent a letter on Saturday night to the American Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, in which it pointed out that Rabin was opposed to a Palestinian state despite the Obama administration’s claims otherwise.