Lapid to back a two-state solution in UN speech

In UN speech prime minister to say Israel's vision for the future must be a separation from Palestinians in the interest of the nation and as part of new middle east; he is to argue Israel is only opposed to a bad deal with Iran and is free to act to prevent a nuclear threat
Itamar Eichner|
Prime Minister Yair Lapid is expected to endorse a two-state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday.
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  • This will be the first time in many years that an Israeli prime minister will raise the possibility of the establishment of a Palestinian state along-side Israel, in the international forum.
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    יאיר לפיד ואנטוניו גוטרש
    יאיר לפיד ואנטוניו גוטרש
    Yair Lapid, António Guterres
    (Photo: GPO)
    In his address, Lapid will point out the possible threats that could arise from the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and will state clearly that Israel will not take any steps, which could endanger the security of its people.
    He will say that the separation from the Palestinians will have to be part of Israel's vision for the future and must come from a position of strength.
    A senior official said a two-state solution is the right option for Israel but the security concerns must also be addressed.
    "This is a path to a new Middle East and is in line with the security needs of Israel," the official said. "Negotiations should begin but with an abundance of caution," he said.
    The official added that as Israel was nearing elections, scheduled for November 1, political fairness dictates that voters know where Lapid stands.
    Political observers said Lapid's speech would be an appeal to left-wing and centrist voters.
    His speech is estimated to begin between 9 pm and 10 pm Israel time (2 pm to 3 pm Eastern,) depending on the length of speeches given before him.
    The prime minister's speech will center around the issue of Iran. Lapid will say that Israel will not allow the Islamic Republic to become a nuclear state and that the United States has agreed that Israel would act independently to secure that end.
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    איברהים ראיסי נשיא איראן נואם בעצרת ה או"ם
    איברהים ראיסי נשיא איראן נואם בעצרת ה או"ם
    Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the UNGA
    (Photo: AP)
    He will say that his government would not oppose a better and longer nuclear deal coupled with a credible military threat from world leaders, which he will claim had forced Iran to back down from its nuclear ambitions, in the past.
    An official explained that Israel was not opposed to any deal with Iran, only to a bad one and that the government was not seeking military conflict.
    He said intelligence data presented by Israel was instrumental in preventing a return to the 2015 deal thus far.
    "The United States had put forward a longer and stronger deal that would not runout and would include strict inspections, it would include changes to Iran's missile program and an end to the spread of terror. But such a deal would not be possible without a credible military threat," the official said.
    Lapid will then speak about the delegitimization of Israel on the UN stage. "We are not guests in this forum, but proud members and will not tolerate the spreading of lies," the prime minister will say. "Israel will defend its good name and expose those who attack it," Lapid is expected to say.
    The Israeli leader will call on Middle East Nations to join the Abraham Accords and the Negev forum and will say that Israel's aim is to extend the circle of peace.
    Sources around the prime minister said he believed the perception that the world was divided into those with us and those against us, had changed and that Israel must seek dialogue with everyone including opponents.

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    Yair Lapid, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
    Yair Lapid, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
    Yair Lapid, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The sources presented the disagreements with Turkey as an example, claiming that it is in Israel's benefit to have good and effective relations with that country, as part of Israel's security strategy, and that the same applies to talks with the Palestinians.
    Despite the claims of the sources, Lapid had avoided meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas since the establishment of the government.
    The sources said Lapid had made a point of calling Abbas ahead of Muslim holidays but had stopped, after the president claimed Israel had committed 50 Holocausts.
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    אבו מאזן
    אבו מאזן
    Mahmoud Abbas
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Abbas had made those comments during a visit to Berlin last month.
    Still, the sources said, Israeli and Palestinian dialogue was ongoing and the government was providing residents of the West Bank with home and a vision for the future.
    "We want to present a comprehensive political vision from a position of strength and be clear, that we understand the difficulties," the sources said.
    Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party said in a statement issued late on Thursday, that Lapid wants to establish a Palestinian state on Israel's borders and hand over parts of the country to enemies.
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