Global Politics

#28. @realDonaldTrump Will you call for equal representation for Palestinians and Jews under any one-state solution in Israel? #100Days100Qs

Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump shake hands.

US President Donald Trump, right, reaches to greet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, DC, February 15, 2017.

Credit:

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Mr. President, will you insist on equal rights for Palestinians and Jews under a one-state solution in Israel?

During a press conference with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu last week, US President Donald Trump made a stark break with decades of US foreign policy: He said he could support either a one-state or two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

What would that mean for Israelis and Palestinians? 

A two-state solution would mean creating a Palestinian state and an Israeli state, which would exist as neighbors. While the idea is simple, the implementation has been hugely contentious. Among the thorny details: Who would have Jerusalem as a capital, where borders are drawn, and what rights Israeli settlers would have — a controversy Trump acknowledged during his press conference when he told Netanyahu to “hold back for a little bit” on new settlements.

A one-state solution is also tricky. Under current proposals, it means Israel would annex all or part of the West Bank and Gaza. Today, Palestinians in the occupied territories don't enjoy full rights as Israeli citizens — something that would have to change if the territories were annexed, lest Israrel become like apartheid-era South Africa.

But that raises another question for Israel as a "Jewish state." There are roughly equal numbers of Arabs in Israel, West Bank and Gaza as there are Jews. And the Arab population is rising faster. Would that fundamentally alter what Israel is? 

So, Mr. President, we're wondering how you will ensure the rights of all citizens under a one-state solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Click here to tweet this question to Trump.

Over President Donald Trump's roughly first 100 days, we'll be asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs. See more of our questions at pri.org/100questions.

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