If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adopts the idea of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint List) predicts he would win a general election and become the premier.Tibi made the comment in an interview with CNN on Thursday, reacting to the hesitant approach US President Donald Trump demonstrated when asked about the best solution to the conflict. Tibi said that, in such a case, the right to vote should be granted to all inhabitants between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including the Palestinian residents of the West Bank.
“If that will be the case, I will be running for the post of prime minister and I can assure you that I will win over Bibi Netanyahu,” said Tibi. “We [Palestinians] will be more. All Palestinians will vote for me, and also some of the Israeli Jews. Netanyahu will be the loser.”On Wednesday in a joint press conference with Netanyahu in Washington, Trump said that for many years he had believed that the two-state solution was the optimal plan for the region, but now he reckons that the solution should be “the one that both parties like” – suggesting that it might be the onestate solution favored by the extreme Right in Israel and by Palestinian extremists.During the interview, Tibi reiterated the idea of putting the two-state solution back on the table and that Israel’s presence in the West Bank is the main obstacle to peace.“Let’s go and strengthen the idea of the two-state solution and end the occupation,” he said. “This is what every American administration – including Trump’s – should do.He should not say ‘you should both choose [what do you think is the best solution].There is a problem that is called the occupation and this is the main problem.”Tibi also warned of the eruption of another round of violence over the prospect that the two-states-for-two-peoples concept would be neglected.“It takes us two decades back,” he said. “It’s dangerous and it will lead to confrontation and violence. President Trump should learn much more the details of the conflict,” he added.In reaction to the comments, Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) quipped that Tibi “can maybe be the prime minister of La La land.”Hangebi also addressed Trump’s remarks urging Israel to hold back on settlement constriction, claiming that his comments reflected something that had to be said in order to keep the Palestinians satisfied.“Some adviser likely told him to say something so he would not leave the Palestinians with nothing. So he said it in his own unique way – halt the constructions for a while,” said the minister.MK Oren Hazan (Likud) said that the meeting on Wednesday should be a wake-up call for Tibi, and mocked him by saying that he could be prime minister only for Islamic State.“Tibi and his friends should understand that reality has changed in the Trump era,” said Hazan. “In case of a one-state solution, Israel will apply its sovereignty over all the territories and if that will happen, Tibi’s place will be behind bars for treason or deported to ISIS in Syria.”Hazan added that “the only state between the Jordan and the sea and from Mount Hermon to Eilat is the Jewish State of Israel.”
Palestinians and Israelis expect little after Trump/Netanyahu meeting (credit: REUTERS)