JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former President Jimmy Carter said in Jerusalem that Israel and the Palestinians have reached a "crisis stage" and that a two-state solution is "vanishing."
Carter met Monday with Israeli President Shimon Peres and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, along with former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland and Ireland’s former President Mary Robinson. Carter, Brundtland and Robinson are part of The Elders, a group of former statesmen who work to bring peace to different areas of the world.
“That policy of promoting a two-state solution seems to be abandoned now,” Carter said. “And we’re deeply concerned about this move toward a catastrophic one-state choice — it’s not a solution, it’s a choice. This is a major concern.”
The three did not request a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because they have not been granted a meeting with him on prior visits, Carter said, according to The Associated Press.
During the Elders meeting with Abbas, the PA president told them that he would ask the United Nations General Assembly next month to make Palestine a non-member state. The Elders expressed their enthusiastic support for the plan.
The Elders were in the region with the Carter Center as guest observers on a study mission to assess the Oct. 20 Palestinian West Bank municipal elections. They are scheduled to travel to Cairo to meet with President Mohamed Morsi. Carter told the Times of Israel that Morsi intends to maintain its 1979 peace agreement with Israel.