Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the US will oppose any measures that weaken ‘viability’ of a two-state solution
By Caitlin McFall
Israel’s new foreign minister, Eli Cohen, was congratulated on his appointment by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He also reminded Cohen of the U.S.’s position on a two-state solution with Israel’s Palestinian neighbors.
The two spoke on the phone on Monday about regional security, shared interests, and U.S.-Israeli relations. Blinken, however, “emphasized the continued U.S. commitment to a two-state solution and opposition to policies that endanger its viability,” according to a readout.
In a dramatic return to power, Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as Israeli Prime Minister for the sixth time just days prior to the secretary’s remarks.
Netanyahu was ousted in Jun 2021 and is still on trial for corruption charges.
However, the popular right wing figurehead – who secured another term and ushered in one of the most hard-right cabinets Israel has seen – is expected to push for settlement advancement in the Palestinian West Bank, reported Reuters.
Netanyahu has allied his party with the Religious Zionism and Jewish Power parties which opposed Palestinian statehood.
Leader of the Religious Zionism party, Bezalel Smotrich, was also appointed as minister of finance Sunday and vowed that “Israel will be an island of stability and responsibility,” Reuters reported.
Israel’s police minister appointee, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has also turned heads as he was reportedly convicted in 2007 for inciting violence against Arabs and supporting a Jewish militant group.
The newest police minister made headlines during his campaign for saying “every police officer should know that if a terrorist comes to hurt you his blood is forfeit,” Reuters stated.
Netanyahu vowed to prioritize countering Iranian aggression and bringing peace to the region following his election; however, some fear concessions he made to his hard right cabinet could see further violations to boundaries identified under a 1967 U.N. resolution.
President Biden also congratulated Netanyahu and his administration upon securing the high office, but he stood firm on his desire for a two-state solution when it comes to Israel-Palestinian relations.
“The United States will continue to support the two-state solution and to oppose policies that endanger its viability or contradict our mutual interests and values,” he said.