Former US president, Jimmy Carter, has said that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has reached a crisis point and that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, does not seek a resolution based on the two-state solution. During a press conference in Cairo on Monday, Carter said, “it now appears that the policy of seeking a resolution based on the two-state solution has been abandoned. We are extremely concerned about this shift toward the option labelled the one-state option which represents a disaster.”
President Carter played a pivotal role in the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in 1979 said he strongly opposes the Israeli policy of settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. He added, “All (Israeli) Prime Ministers I have known have sought the two-state solution, and I do not know that Obama found Prime Minister Netanyahu prepared to proceed along this path.”
Carter has been visiting Egypt, Israel and the occupied West Bank as part of ‘The Elders’; the group made up of former world leaders. The former American president said, “all indicators before us show that the two-solution has been abandoned from the foundations, and we have witnessed a shift toward Greater Israel, which I believe is contrary to the concept of the two-state solution.”
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in 2010 due to Israel’s continued illegal settlement construction in the West Bank. Netanyahu expressed his support for reaching a resolution on the basis of the two-state solution, but maintained that any future Palestinian state must be demilitarised and accept the presence of the Israeli military along the length of the Jordan River, which will likely be its eastern border. Netanyahu also said that Israel was prepared to make ‘painful concessions’ for the sake of peace, which requires that “parts of the Jewish ancestral homeland” be relinquished. However, he refused to return to the pre-1967 war borders.