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US special envoy Jason Greenblatt at the UNSC Arria-formula meeting in New York.(Photo by: SCREEN CAPTURE/UN WEB TV)
U.S. not weighing ‘one state’ fix to Israel-Palestinian conflict, Greenblatt says
Greenblatt and US envoy Jared Kushner, who are heading the peace process, have both refrained from speaking of a “two-state solution.”
The United States is not considering a one-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, US special envoy Jason Greenblatt told PBS NewsHour in an interview aired on Thursday. “Our plan does not contemplate one state,” he said. “I think if it did, we would have released it over two years ago. I am not sure that there are many people that think that one state is good for either side.”

Greenblatt spoke in theoretical terms about the political component of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, the publication of which was delayed in part due to the Israeli elections. Palestinians and the international community are concerned the plan doesn’t include a Palestinian state. The Trump administration’s economic plan for the Palestinians, which it published in June, didn’t mention Palestinian statehood.

Greenblatt and US envoy Jared Kushner, who are heading the peace process, have both refrained from speaking of a “two-state solution.” Greenblatt told PBS that “The reason we do not use the term is that you cannot take a conflict as complex as this and boil it down to those three words... So we have avoided the slogan, if you will,” Greenblatt continued, adding that the plan does address Palestinian self-determination. “We have very carefully designed this plan to give everyone as much freedom as possible but without compromising on security for everyone.”

He rejected charges that the US was attempting to offer the Palestinians an economic solution without plans of a political one. “There is no economic peace without an acceptable political solution to both sides,” Greenblatt said. He added, however, that “No matter how we say that, the manipulators – the people who want to undermine our efforts – keep using that talking point... Our hope is to give the Palestinians as great a life as the Israelis have, with everyone in the region being as secure as possible.”

Greenblatt avoided commenting on whether the US supports any Israeli annexation plans of the West Bank. “I do not even like the word settlements,” Greenblatt said. “It is a pejorative term.” The US envoy also said he rejected the use of the word “occupied” to describe the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria. “I would argue that the land is disputed,” he continued. “It needs to be resolved in the context of direct negotiations between the parties; calling it occupied territory does not help resolve the conflict.”

With respect to the conflict itself, Greenblatt said he did not think Israel was responsible for the conflict. “I think that Israel is more the victim than the party that is responsible. From the moment of its formation, they were attacked multiple times; they continue to be attacked with terrorism,” Greenblatt argued.
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