Op-Ed via Haaretz

Mike Pence Just Confirmed America’s Exit From the Mideast Peace Process

U.S. Vice President Pence couldn't have said it more clearly.

"I am here to convey one simple message. America stands with Israel. We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight," he said Monday in Israel's Knesset.

He doubled down on the Trump administration's plan to move its embassy to Jerusalem, and repeated, mantra-like, the claim that the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital was justified as "fact". The word "Palestinian" was barely mentioned, and "Palestine" – not at all.

Pence also said the U.S. would support a two-state solution, but only if both sides support it – echoing Trump's comments at his Jerusalem announcement. The meaning? The U.S. is abandoning the two-state solution. A sovereign Palestinian state is no longer a necessary and critical aim of U.S. foreign policy.

Donald Trump, it appears, will do nothing to stop or rebuke Israel's accelerated settlement building, or its retroactive licensing of outposts built on private Palestinian land, having watered-down the tired-old U.S. rhetoric of "settlements are an obstacle to peace" to settlements "may not be helpful" to peace. So their construction will continue, indefinitely.

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