(JTA) — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a candidate for the Republican nomination for president, said he would not pursue a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestinian conflict right now.
“I don’t think the conditions exist for that today,” Rubio said Wednesday during a question-and-answer session hosted by PBS’s Charlie Rose at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “That’s the ideal outcome, but the conditions for a two-state solution at this moment do not exist.”
Rubio, a hawk on Israel-related issues, blamed the Palestinian Authority, the official government of the Palestinians, for the current situation, as well as the lack of unity among the Palestinians. He also pointed out that the Palestinians had rejected two previous peace offers from Israel.
“I think the most we can hope for in the short term is that the Palestinian Authority will be able to provide a level of stability in that territory. And ultimately, the conditions will rise up with new leadership that will allow something like that to happen,” he said, according to Haaretz.
Rubio said that that there was little difference of opinion between him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the threat posed by Iran except that Netanyahu “lives a lot closer to them than I do,” according to the New York Times.
He heavily criticized President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and said that lifting sanctions on Iran under a proposed deal agreed to by the Islamic Republic and the world powers would lead to a “cascade of nuclear proliferation” that could force Israel to “take bold action” and foment a war in the region.
Earlier this month Rubio tried to amend congressional legislation to require that Iran recognize Israel as a precondition to any nuclear deal.
During his speech Rubio asserted that: “Today, like never before, foreign policy is domestic policy.”
Rubio is expected to have the support of Jewish billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson in the 2016 presidential campaign.