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In UN address, Lapid to call for two-state solution with Palestinians

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on September 18, 2022. (Ronaldo Schemidt/Pool Photo via AP)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on September 18, 2022. (Ronaldo Schemidt/Pool Photo via AP)

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly tomorrow, Yair Lapid will offer “hope and vision through strength,” says an official close to the prime minister, which will include an explicit call for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

“We can go to better places, we must present a diplomatic vision, we must also make sure we recognize the dangers in front of us.”

Lapid’s speech will have four sections.

On Iran, he will emphasize that Israel will not allow the Islamic Republic to become a nuclear state, says the official. “If needed, and this is agreed upon between us and the Americans, we will act by ourselves. We don’t need to ask anyone for permission.”

“But we also must offer the world an alternative to what happened in recent months,” explains the official,  “the rush that was stopped to a large extent because of our involvement in the JCPOA. We must tell the world, we have to go toward a better, longer, stronger agreement, and base it on the fact that the world will present a credible military option on the table.”

The second pillar of Lapid’s speech will be delegitimization, according to the Lapid aide. “We are going to tell the world that we are not guests at the UN. We are proud members of the United Nations, and we will not accept this stage being used to spread lies about Israel. We will defend our good name.”

Lapid will also turn to countries across the Middle East that have not joined the Abraham Accords and Negev Forum. “Our goal is to expand the circle of peace, and an international call on this has value.”

Finally, says the official, Lapid will stress that “Israel must move toward a two-state solution.”

“For many years, no Israeli prime minister has said this on the UN stage,” the official says. Lapid will also emphasize the risks Israel is not willing to take.

“We will not do anything that will endanger the security of Israel and Israelis by even a centimeter,” the official explains, “but separation from the Palestinians must be part of our diplomatic vision, part of the hope through strength worldview.”

Lapid is expected to give his address in the early afternoon, before heading straight to the airport to return to Israel.

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