By Ron Kampeas
(JTA) – Hillary Clinton said she opposed any U.N. Security Council bid to impose a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just hours after a summit between the Israeli leader and Donald Trump.
Netanyahu’s meetings with the Democratic nominee and, earlier Sunday, Sept. 25, with her Republican rival were a study in similarities – principally, in pledging close defense cooperation with Israel – and differences, especially in Clinton’s holding up Israel as a model for pluralism, and Trump lauding its erection of a wall of separation from the Palestinians.
“The secretary reaffirmed her commitment to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity,” said a statement from Clinton’s campaign.
“Secretary Clinton reaffirmed her opposition to any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the U.N. Security Council,” the statement said.
Netanyahu, who was in New York to attend the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, sought assurances that neither nominee would join international efforts to preempt direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Palestinian officials prefer international mediation until Israel freezes settlement expansion. Israel wants direct talks.
Netanyahu also reportedly fears that President Obama will in his final months in office allow a U.N. Security Council resolution outlining a final status for a two-state solution to go through, although Obama has until now kept that from happening.
Unlike Clinton, Trump in his statement did not explicitly commit to opposing outside attempts to impose a solution, but he did support the expectation that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state and his pledge to recognize Jerusalem as its capital.
Clinton did not mention Jerusalem in her statement, but she affirmed Israel’s status as a “democratic Jewish state.” She said she would enforce last year’s deal between Iran and six major world powers to exchange sanctions relief for a rollback of nuclear development. Netanyahu vehemently opposed the deal. Trump’s statement said only that the two men discussed the deal at length; Trump in the past has said he would renegotiate the deal.
Clinton in her statement committed herself to combating the boycott Israel movement; Trump did not mention it. Both nominees swore to uphold defense assistance for and cooperation with Israel.