Rebuffing reports, AIPAC says it still backs a two-state solution
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Rebuffing reports, AIPAC says it still backs a two-state solution

Section of Israel lobby’s website dealing with peace process dropped reference to Palestinian statehood, but can be found elsewhere

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Donald Trump speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2016 Policy Conference at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, March 21, 2016. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images via JTA)
Donald Trump speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2016 Policy Conference at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, March 21, 2016. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images via JTA)

America’s largest pro-Israel lobby continues to back the ideal of Palestinian statehood, despite the fact that it has removed any reference to the two-state solution from a section of its website, a spokesman said Monday.

“Our position has not changed — we continue to support a two-state solution,” Marshall Wittmann from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee told The Times of Israel.

Media outlets reported Monday that the “talking points” listed on the AIPAC website’s section dedicated to the peace process no longer bears any mention of a two-state solution. Previously, the first talking point on this part of the website, headlined “Two states for two peoples,” stated that the organization “strongly supports a two-state solution.”

In its current version, the first talking point is that peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians “must be direct and bilateral.” The need or desire for an independent Palestinian state is no longer mentioned.

However, Wittmann told The Times of Israel that “we regularly make changes on our website” and pointed to various other references to the two-state solution on the site.

For instance, the organization’s mission statement calls on American lawmakers to “support Israel through foreign aid, government partnerships, joint anti-terrorism efforts and the promotion of a negotiated two-state solution – a Jewish state of Israel and a demilitarized Palestinian state.”

US President-elect Donald Trump has never openly supported or disavowed the two-state solution.

His two top advisers on Israel, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, have made clear though that a two-state solution may not be pursued by a Trump administration.

A “two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians appears impossible as long as the Palestinians are unwilling to renounce violence against Israel or recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state,” the two wrote in a joint statement before the November 8 election.

“A two-state solution is not a priority,” Friedman told The Times of Israel last month. “I don’t think he is wed to any particular outcome. A two-state solution is a way, but it’s not the only way.”

The 2016 Republican party platform, issued over the summer, surprisingly made no mention of the two-state solution, which marked a departure from previous such documents.

AIPAC delegates to the Republican National Convention in July were said to have tacitly approved the change in the GOP’s platform, raising no objections to the omission.

“We appreciate that both parties’ platforms have now included strong pro-Israel language which is reflective of the broad bipartisan consensus in support of the Jewish state,” AIPAC’s Wittmann told JTA at the time.

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