Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says President Donald Trump will not be able to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict simply because the two-state solution is no longer “viable.”
“[Trump] is an optimistic man and can take a good shot at it, but I don’t think the conditions exist,” Bolton said in East Jerusalem al-Quds on Monday, according to Israeli media.
“I don’t think the two-state solution is viable anymore,” the former UN envoy added. “It’s not a question of personality or effort, it is just undoable.”
Bolton’s bold prediction came only days after Trump met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and promised to broker a “peace” deal.
“I am committed to trying to achieve a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and I intend to do everything I can to help them achieve that goal,” Trump said after holding talks with Abbas in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Trump, who was on his maiden overseas trip, also discussed the possibility of a deal with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
After talking to Netanyahu, the US president welcomed what he called the Israeli premier’s “commitment to pursuing peace.”
“He’s working very hard at it – it’s not easy,” he said of Netanyahu. “I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all. But I have a feeling that we’re going to get there eventually. I hope.”
This is while Netanyahu has been widely criticized for having seriously dimmed the prospect of a deal by, among other things, caving in to the demands of the far-right extremists that surround him.
The expansion of settlement construction in occupied Palestinian territories under Netanyahu has been one of the major hurdles on the path towards a possible deal.
Trump told Netanyahu at a White House meeting earlier this year that he would not insist on a two-state solution as the only option.
Over half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements built illegally since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories.
Bolton said Monday that the two-state solution had simply fallen apart after “a 70-plus year effort.”
“You can’t put it back together again,” he asserted.
Widely seen as a hawk, even within conservative circles, Bolton is known for his extremist views on foreign policy, including his insatiable appetite for wars.
In the early days of the Trump administration, he was a top contender for the post of secretary of state, which was later on assigned to oil tycoon Rex Tillerson.