Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close ally of President Trump, said Tuesday he would “not invest a dime” in a proposed solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that results in one state.
“I want everybody to understand there is no one-state solution,” Graham said at a press conference in Jerusalem. “I will not invest a dime in a situation that results in one state.”
As chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee in charge of State Department and foreign aid funding, Graham has sway in whatever funding the White House’s Middle East peace plan will need.
Trump administration officials have declined in recent months to say whether their Middle East peace plan, of which senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner is in charge, includes the long-held U.S. position of a two-state solution. Officials recently rolled out the first pillar of the plan with a business conference in Bahrain.
Critics have accused the Trump administration of showing bias toward Israel at the expense of the Palestinians, citing policies such as President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and his recognition of Israel’s claim over the disputed Golan Heights.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Graham described a one-state resolution as 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,” he said. “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 held his press conference alongside Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) after they met Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Tuesday with Palestinian Liberation Organization official Saeb Erekat.
“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,” Van Hollen said. “We want to keep alive the possibility for the two-state solution.”