Prime Minister Yair Lapid said a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was “the right thing” for Israel, addressing the world from the United Nations General Assembly’s high-level meeting Thursday. In 2016, from the same platform, far-right PM Benjamin Netanyahu did not merely pledge his commitment “to a vision of peace based on two states for two peoples,” but went so far as to invite Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to address the Knesset, and offered “to speak to the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah.”
However, Hadash and the Communist Party of Israel dismissed Lapid’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly. “The country’s leaders have gotten used to loving the peace process but not peace itself, speaking eloquently throughout the world and carrying out an ugly occupation at the same time,” said MK Ayman Odeh, leader of Hadash-Ta’al. “The real test is on the ground. Do it – make peace,” Odeh said.
MK Ofer Cassif (third from left) during a demonstration agains occupation in the West Bank (Photo: Zo Haderech)
According to a leading Communist Party of Israel member, MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash), “The liberation of the Palestinian people and the establishment of a sovereign state in their homeland is not just an election demand, but a demand for justice and freedom.” Cassif called on Lapid to “include his commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of the basic guidelines of any government under his leadership, as well as to work to improve the situation on the ground for the sake of the Palestinians who are groaning under the burden of the occupation,” Cassif said.
Opposition MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash) tweeted that while Lapid is declaring his support for a Palestinian state on the world stage, “in Israel he is leading entrenchment of the occupation [of Palestinian territories].” “We have had enough of public relations declarations,” she wrote. “Lapid: The time has come to say Palestinian state from the podium of the Knesset.”