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Clinton: I'll defend Israel but push for 'two-state solution'

Former Secretary of State says she'll do everything she can to support Israel but the Palestinians "deserve a state of their own".
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/22/2016, 6:14 AM

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
Reuters

Former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton believes both Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz “missed the mark” with their approach to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict.

Speaking Sunday to CNN, Clinton vowed to support Israel but also said she would insist on the “two-state solution”, that is the formation of a Palestinian state, in order to bring an end to the conflict.

In the interview, Clinton was asked about Trump’s and Cruz’s comments last week. While Trump indicated he would be “sort of a neutral guy” on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Cruz said, "I have no intention of being neutral" and stressed he would be standing by Israel. 

“I think both of them missed the mark,” she replied, stressing that “Israel is our partner, our ally. We have longstanding and important ties with Israelis going back to the formation of the state of Israel.”

“I will defend and do everything I can to support Israel, particularly as the neighborhood around it seems to become more dangerous and difficult,” declared Clinton, but also added, “I also believe the Palestinians deserve to have a state of their own. That's why I support a two-state solution. That's what I have worked on. That's what I tried to move forward when I was secretary, and holding three very intense conversations between the prime minister of Israel and the president of the Palestinian Authority.”

“Those are not mutually exclusive,” she continued. “I happen to think that moving toward a two-state solution, trying to provide more support for the aspirations of the Palestinian people is in the long-term best interests of Israel, as well as the region, and, of course, the people themselves.”

Clinton has in the past said that the "two state solution" is the only resolution for the decades old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Her comments come even as senior officials in the Obama administration have admitted that reaching the two-state solution at the present time is unlikely. German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week made similar comments.

Despite Clinton’s pro-Israel comments in the interview, e-mails that have been released as part of the investigation into her use of a private address during her time as Secretary of State have revealed the opposite.

In one e-mail she referred to Israelis as "always cocky"; in another e-mail, dated 2011, she mulled a plan by a senior aide to stir up Palestinian unrest in order to pressure Israel to restart peace talks with the PA.