Dermer in op-ed: Annexation opens door to 'realistic' two-state solution

"Israel plans to extend sovereignty to territories that will remain part of Israel in any realistic peace agreement."

US Ambassador Ron Dermer  (photo credit: REUTERS)
US Ambassador Ron Dermer
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – "The extension of Israeli sovereignty to certain territories in Judea and Samaria will not, as many critics suggest, destroy the two-state solution. But it will shatter the two-state illusion," wrote Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer in a  Washington Post op-ed piece on Friday night.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a series of discussions in recent weeks with Defense and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz about the possibility that Israel would annex parts of the West Bank as early as July 1. US Ambassador David Friedman will travel to Washington in the upcoming days to meet with his peers in US President Donald Trump's peace team to decide whether to give Israel the green light for the move.
According to Dermer's op-ed, applying Israeli sovereignty will open the door to a realistic two-state solution. "The hard truth is that for the past 25 years, international leaders and policymakers have been unwilling to admit that they never had the Palestinians onboard for a genuine two-state solution," the Israeli ambassador continued. "And in constantly moving the goalpost to get them onboard, they have now lost Israelis as well."
The current two-state consensus is nothing more than a "two-state illusion," he argued. "And that is why Israel must pursue a different course to advance peace."
Dermer wrote that the Trump peace plan offers such a course. "It also calls for a two-state solution. But it addresses the root cause of the conflict by insisting that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state and by making clear that Israel has a valid legal, historical and moral claim to Judea and Samaria."
The ambassador added that the peace plan "does not ignore the reality on the ground and make unrealistic proposals that have zero chance of being implemented." He noted that "not surprisingly," the Palestinians rejected the Trump peace plan.
"In the face of this rejectionism and determined to advance a realistic solution to the conflict, Israel plans to extend sovereignty to territories that will remain part of Israel in any realistic peace agreement,” he added. “At the same time, Israel will not extend sovereignty over territories the Trump plan designates for a future Palestinian state and [will] commit to not building in those territories in the coming years.
“Many have argued, including some of our friends, that Israel should not take any unilateral steps. But some of those same friends applauded Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 because they mistakenly believed it would advance peace. Unfortunately, it didn't. It empowered Hamas, endangered Israel and dealt a heavy blow to the prospects for peace," he wrote.
“Israel hopes the decision to extend sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria will have the opposite effect. We hope it will convince the Palestinians that another century of rejectionism is a losing strategy and that the Jewish state is here to stay," the ambassador wrote. "And by shattering the two-state illusion and advancing a two-state solution, Israel hopes it will open up a realistic path to peace.”