Analysis: The Two-State Solution, Yair Lapid’s Risky Bet on the World Stage

Analysis: The Two-State Solution, Yair Lapid’s Risky Bet on the World Stage
Analysis: The Two-State Solution, Yair Lapid’s Risky Bet on the World Stage

While it is true that “What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas”, the adage does not apply to New York; What happens in the United Nations General Assembly in New York does not stay in the United Nations.

Of course, the speeches made on the most important stage in the world do not change the international reality and their meaning is very limited. But they can have a national effect. Something Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid was certainly aware of when he spoke out in favor of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But those whom this discourse can anguish can calm down. No Palestinian state will be created in the years to come – and certainly not because of a speech at the UN.

With Israel only a month and a half away from elections, it is no coincidence that Lapid, one of Israel’s most savvy politicians in recent years, has chosen to stir up a storm around his speech – more than 24 hours before even delivering it.

The Prime Minister’s entourage has clearly communicated on the roadmap: “We are going towards elections”, say his collaborators, “we must put our positions on the table.” This may make sense, but reality and history prove that it usually works exactly the opposite, and the closer we get to elections, the more politicians try to shove positions that could alienate potentials under the rug. voters.

From the 1990s to 2016, every Israeli prime minister who spoke at the UN mentioned the “two-state solution”. Including, in case you forgot, Binyamin Netanyahu. But since 2016, the political (and international) reality has changed and the issue has been dropped.

The big difference between Netanyahu and Lapid has to do with their public image. When Netanyahu talks about two states at the UN, Israelis see it as part of the ceremony, and accept it as a UN ritual, nothing more. No one ever thought it was a real plan. On the other hand, Lapid’s credibility is much higher, and from an electoral standpoint, that may backfire on him.

Lapid’s choice of words is both interesting and intriguing. Throughout his political career, he has positioned himself firmly at the center, away from dividing lines, a position that has allowed him to comfortably navigate political storms on fundamental issues.

This time, however, Lapid chose to put the most complex and controversial axis of attack for the Israeli public. Bringing the two-state solution back to the table is appealing to voters on the left, at a time when — by all estimates — the election will be decided by voters who undoubtedly sit on the center-right of the political map.

Is it possible that Lapid has realized that he will not be prime minister and that this is his way of attracting voters from all leftist parties in order to become the undisputed leader of the opposition?

Internationally, we must not forget that the attention of world leaders is not focused on Israel, but on two central issues: the war in Ukraine and the violation of human rights in Iran. The idea that the world cares about Israel is very provincial.

For many years, Lapid has been critical of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s well-known gimmicky speeches (like the one in which he held up a crude drawing of a bomb), and so the intention is to try to turn the essential in gadget. It’s hard to tell if this is a tactical or strategic move.

What is clear is that the action of the Prime Minister, at such a sensitive time, a month before the elections and in the midst of what seems to be a new wave of terrorism, can cost him votes, and in the end of course, the elections.

The article is in French

Tags: Analysis TwoState Solution Yair Lapids Risky Bet World Stage

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