Trump's views on Israel-Palestine 'misrepresented'

Miranda GreerFeb 22, 2017

Mr Netanyahu arrives in Sydney for a historic four-day visit on Wednesday, a week after US President Donald Trump called for Israel to pull back on settlement expansion on occupied Palestinian land and backed away from America's long-standing support for a two-state solution to secure peace.

Last year, Lee was the first Singaporean prime minister to visit Israel, and Netanyahu's official visit is the first to Singapore by an Israeli prime minister. More recently, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked more relaxed and confident last week following his meeting with Trump at the White House than at any time in recent years.

A one-state outcome is rejected by Palestinian leaders. In Cairo, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said they agreed that the two-state solution was "the only way to achieve comprehensive and just settlement to the Palestinian cause".

Many observers, including Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog, bemoaned the "magnitude of the missed opportunity", to create lasting peace.

Netanyahu's visit is scheduled to run from Wednesday to Saturday, a relatively long foreign stay for Israeli prime ministers, who typically are reluctant to be overseas for long because of the security situation at home. Even the current nationalist Netanyahu government would probably accept such a thing, but the Palestinians have ruled it out, fearing the temporary would become permanent. It said Egypt been working toward a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar do not have diplomatic relations with the Jewish State, but they share informal links.

One of the officials said the main goal of the meeting was to start a regional peace process that Netanyahu said he wanted.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the friendship between Israel and Australia dated back to the establishment of Israel in 1948.

Meanwhile, Musa Shteiwi, Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan, said Israel has been hindering all attempts to reach a two-state solution. These include the status of Jerusalem and the Palestinian demand that Arabs who fled or were expelled from the fledgling Jewish state in 1948, and generations of their descendants - today numbering in the millions - be allowed to return to their former homes, potentially undermining Israel's Jewish character.

Those who claim that the two-state solution has passed its time and new and creative ideas should be explored must know that many new ideas have been considered. But a two-state solution to the Middle East peace process has remained the goal of USA and global diplomacy for decades, backed by successive Republican and Democrat administrations.

However, what Trump has said so far would "harm the interests of both Palestine and Jordan", Maaytah added. Israeli proposals to extend settlement areas, which Mr Trump would like to see delayed, increasingly make this a reality.

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