SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: Despite our best efforts over the years, the two state solution is now in serious jeopardy.
The truth is that trends on the ground – violence, terrorism, incitement, settlement expansion and the seemingly endless occupation – are destroying hopes for peace on both sides and increasingly cementing an irreversible one-state reality that most people do not actually want.
Today, there are a similar number of Jews and Palestinians living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. They have a choice. They can choose to live together in one state, or they can separate into two states. But here is a fundamental reality: if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both –and it won’t ever really be at peace. Moreover, the Palestinians will never fully realize their vast potential in a homeland of their own with a one state solution.
Most on both sides understand this basic choice, and that’s why it’s important that polls of Israelis and Palestinians show there is still strong support for the two state solution – in theory. They just don’t believe that it can happen.
After decades of conflict, many no longer see the other side as people, only as threats and enemies. Both sides continue to push a narrative that plays to people’s fears and reinforces the worst stereotypes – rather than working to change perceptions and build up belief in the possibility of peace.