US Senator Lindsey Graham against "one state solution"

US Senator Chris Van Hollen and US Senator Lindsey Graham speak to the press in Jerusalem, call for aid to PA not to be cut,

Yoni Kempinski ,

Senators Graham and Van Hollen
Senators Graham and Van Hollen
Yoni Kempinski

US Senators Lindsay Graham and Chris Van Hollen held a joint press conference at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem Tuesday.

Senator Graham (R-SC) warned against a "One-State Solution" to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

"I think this White House has done more for Israel's security than most. I think declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of the State of Israel was a longstanding bipartisan proposal they enacted. I think making sure the Golan Heights is recognized as part of Israel is a tremendous achievement in terms of the security of the State of Israel that does nothing to undermine the Palestinian peace aspirations. There's nobody in Syria to give it back to," he said.

"There is no construct from which you can solve this problem with a One-State Solution," Senator Graham warned. "Nobody believes that this ends well through military force. Having 51 battalions permanently stationed in the West Bank to try to create some semblance of law and order is a losing proposition for the IDF."

Addressing the Trump Administration's peace plan, he said "all I can say is that they're coming out with a proposal. Let's see what's in it. The Arabs in the region now are closer to Israel than any time I can remember, because of a common foe called Iran. So there is a unique opportunity here to keep the aspirations alive of ending this conflict with dignity and security. I hope the administration's plan, if not accepted, will be recognized as a good-faith effort."

Senator Van Hollen (D-MD) called for the US to maintain its aid to the Palestinian Authority so that Hamas will not be empowered.

"It's important to maintain a constructive dialogue with the Palestinian Authority," he said. "When you decide that you're going to cut off assistance through A.I.D. for things like ... hospitals and schools, then it doesn't strengthen your ability to have that kind of discussion and dialogue. All it does is allow Hamas to say: 'you see? The Palestinian Authority isn't going to get you anywhere.'"

Senator Graham dismissed PA concerns over the participation of American officials, including US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt, in the archaeological excavation of an ancient road pilgrims used to reach the Temple Mount during the Second Temple period.

PA official Saeb Erekat had condemned the excavation as "fake."

"It's a settlement project. It's based on a lie that has nothing to do with history. This is a disgrace to any diplomat, to undermine the two-state solution, to undermine the fact that there will never be peace without east Jerusalem being the capital of Palestine," he charged.

Senator Graham said to Arutz Sheva that "excavating historical sites of how the people ascended to the Temple Mount doesn't do what they claim. I'm ok with it."