Diplomacy

Merkel: Palestinians Must Accept Israel as Jewish State

While reiterating her support for a two-state solution for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, German Chancellor Angela Merkel supported the Israeli demand that the Palestinian Authority accept Israel as a Jewish state, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.

Merkel, who wound up her two-day trip to Israel Thursday, answered a question to the Times, saying that she “asked questions” about Israel’s recently passed Jewish state bill. The Chancellor continued, “And yet, we recognize the Jewish state. And if there is supposed to be peace, an enduring peace, between Israelis and Palestinians, then of course it cannot be that all states say Israel should be a Jewish state, with democratic rights for minorities that live here, but the Palestinians don’t say it.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, on numerous occasions, has stated that he would never accept Israel as a Jewish state.

Earlier, Merkel had said that she planned to call Abbas and ask him questions about his views of peace talks with Israel, including his policies regarding Gaza. And while the chancellor expressed a preference for a two-state solution, she allowed that there are “many other” possible ways to solve the conflict.

Merkel’s suggestion that there could be other ways to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians echoes comments by President Donald Trump, who expressed ambivalence about a two-state solution in February 2017. Trump then said of other possible solutions, “if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.” However, Trump, in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week at the United Nations, said that he thought that a two-state solution is “what works best.”

[Photo: IsraeliPM / YouTube ]