Israeli government members celebrate beginning of ‘new era’ with Trump

Coalition members of the Israeli government celebrated what they perceived to be the end of the era of the two-state solution. 

Members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition expressed celebratory remarks following a joint press conference between President Donald Trump and Netanyahu earlier on Wednesday.

“After 24 years, the Palestinian flag has been lowered and replaced by the Israeli flag,”claimed Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who also serves as Chairman of the Jewish Home party, which unequivocally opposes a two-state solution.

During Wednesday’s joint press conference, neither Netanyahu nor Trump expressed an explicit commitment to the two-state solution, though both talked about pursuing alternative paths to peace.

“The prime minister displayed leadership and daring and strengthened Israel’s security,” Bennett continued. “This is a new era.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, conveyed similar remarks, welcoming “tidings of a new era and the opening of the idea of a regional solution,” according to her spokeswoman.

“I praise the fact that for the first time in 25 years the Americans want to think again and respect Israeli interests, as decided by the people of Israel,” Hotovely added.

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, another member of the Likud party, also embraced the beginning of “a new era.”

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“A new political era has begun today in Washington,” Regev wrote on Facebook.

“The era of the freeze has ended,” she continued, referring to the freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria during the administration of Trump’s predecessor Obama.

“The freeze in Judea and Samaria has ended. The freeze in relations between the United States and Israel has ended.”

Minister of Science, Technology and Space, Ofir Akunis, also a Likud member, understood the press conference to be an important milestone for those opposing the two-state solution.

“This is the most important day for those who love the country of Israel,” Akunis wrote on Twitter.

For Members of Knesset (MKs) in Israel’s Opposition, there was apparently not much cause to celebrate.

“The extreme Right won tonight and the State of Israel lost,” claimed Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit. “Netanyahu is leading us to a binational state and fleeing the two-state solution that is  in Israel’s interest.”

Fellow party MK Stav Shafir also did not have much praise for the prime minister.

“Underneath the flattery of Netanyahu, there is no plan for maintaining security,” she said.

Chairperson of the Meretz party, Zehava Gal-On, similarly dismissed any reason to applaud an implicit dismissal of the two-state solution.

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“No matter what Trump says or does not say, the only solution remains ending the occupation to keep Israel Jewish and democratic,” she argued.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News