President Biden offered a forceful defense of the state of Israel on Friday on the heels of Israel’s brutal 11-day bombing campaign in Gaza that killed over 200 Palestinians, including over 60 children.
Some progressive Democrats are calling for the US to cut off arms sales or leverage military aid to Israel due to its treatment of Palestinians. But Biden insisted his view has not changed. “There is no shift in my commitment to the security of Israel. Period. No shift, not at all,” he said at a press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Biden also said that a two-state solution is the “only answer” to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. “We still need a two-state solution. It is the only answer. The only answer,” he said.
Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have made a two-state solution no longer a realistic option. The Trump administration’s so-called “peace plan” that was released in 2020 laid out a two-state solution that annexed Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, leaving little for the Palestinians.
Trump’s plan included Israeli-only access roads cutting through what was supposed to be a Palestinian state. If enacted, the plan would have essentially formalized apartheid rule. Unless the Israelis are willing to give up their settlements, the Palestinians would never accept a two-state solution. Settlement activity spiked in recent years, and President Biden is not pressuring Israel to stop.