Jul 2, 2019

Lindsey Graham to urge Trump to base peace plan on two-state solution

Sen. Lindsey Graham. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close ally of President Trump, said on Tuesday in a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) that he plans to talk to Trump and urge him to base the White House's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan on a two-state solution.

Why it matters: Although Trump said publicly last September that he supports a two-state solution, it is unclear if the U.S. peace plan will include this principle. The administration's support of settlements in the West Bank is likely to make a two-state solution far more difficult.

The big picture: Graham and Van Hollen arrived in Israel as part of their work on a draft Senate resolution that will support a two-state solution. The Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., has been lobbying both senators to drop the term "two-state solution" from the text, but they have refused.

  • Graham and Van Hollen met on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and on Tuesday with Palestinian Liberation Organization official Saeb Erekat.
  • At the joint press conference, both senators said they do not see a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians coming to fruition in the near future due to domestic political problems on both sides. But they stressed that they want the U.S. to embrace a policy that preserves the ability to implement a two-state solution in the future.
  • Graham and Van Hollen emphasized that eliminating hope for a two-state solution will weaken the Palestinian Authority and strengthen Hamas.

What they're saying:

"I want everybody to understand there is no one-state solution. I will not invest a dime in a situation that results in one state. It is a bad deal for America. If you believe in a democratic Jewish state, it is lost over time from the demographics of merging the two peoples. ... If you absorb all the Palestinians and they can vote, the Jewish states gets eroded and if you absorb all the Palestinians and they can't vote, that's South Africa and it's not going to happen."
— Graham said at Tuesday's press conference

Van Hollen added: "We think it is important to send a signal to the Palestinians who want to live in peace with Israel that there is a road to getting there. We want to keep alive the possibility for the two-state solution."

Go deeper: Scoop: Israel works to stop Senate resolution on two-state solution

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 4,000 people in the U.S. — with over 1,000 deaths reported in New York City, per Johns Hopkins.

The state of play: President Trump said Tuesday it's "going to be a very painful two weeks," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 860,181 — Total deaths: 42,354 — Total recoveries: 178,359.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 189,633 — Total deaths: 4,081 — Total recoveries: 7,136.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. Coronavirus in custody: Inmates in all U.S. federal prisons are set to enter a 14-day quarantine on April 1. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release 10 detained immigrants who are at risk from COVID-19.
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World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 859,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

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