On Monday, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said there would be no peace talks with Palestinians on a two-state solution when he becomes prime minister.
Under a coalition deal, Lapid will replace Naftali Bennett as prime minister in 2023. Some political parties that formed the current government are opposed to a Palestinian state, including Bennett’s Yamina Party, and not negotiating with the Palestinians was part of the coalition deal.
“Even after a coalition rotation, I will remain with the same people and the same disagreements,” Lapid said. “I plan to stand behind the agreement I made with my partners.”
Israel’s hardliners are against talks with the Palestinians so Israel can continue its gradual de facto annexation of the West Bank through settlements. The expansion of settlements has made a two-state solution no longer a realistic option, which was demonstrated by the so-called “peace plan” unveiled in 2020 by the Trump administration.
Trump’s plan was a non-starter for negotiations since it gave Israel West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley, leaving little for the Palestinians. The deal also included Israeli-only access roads that would have cut through a good portion of what was supposed to be a Palestinian state.
Lapid said there was no need to “delude the Palestinians” and open up talks without the coalition behind them. “That would damage our credibility, which is important,” he said.
Lapid is a staunch defender of Israel on the world stage and also warned of global efforts to label Israel as an apartheid state. On Tuesday, Lapid got in a feud on Twitter with Iran’s foreign minister. The spat stemmed from recent comments Lapid made where he warned Israel has capabilities to attack Iran that the world “cannot even imagine.”