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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

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

8 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.

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