Potential GOP presidential candidate, neosurguen Dr. Ben Carson, who visited Israel this week, expressed his support for the establishment of a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people, but not on the land that is currently the West Bank and Gaza.
“I know that Egypt in the past has made some overtures in terms of providing a place for the Palestinians. That seems to me something worth exploring,” Carson told the Jerusalem Post in an interview published Thursday. Adding, he was not opposed to a two-state solution, “but would not be in favor of a two-state solution that would put Israel’s population at risk.”
‘When you are looking at Judea and Samaria, and look at their proximity to the population centers of Israel, and you recognize the hostility that existed before, I’m not sure that makes a lot of sense,” Carson asserted.
As reported in September, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi offered Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas 160 square kilometers of the Sinai Peninsula adjoining Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, thus creating a Palestinian state five times the present size of Gaza. According to the report, Sisi said to Abbas: “You are now 80-years-old, if you don’t accept this proposal, your successor will.”
Abbas turned down the offer.
In his interview with the Jerusalem Post, Carson also said that the settlement issue has been “blown out of proportion.”
“Having been here, and having seen the housing going up, it certainly seems much more benign than what you hear about in the international press,” he said. “People need housing, and they are putting it in the proximity of where they live.”
Unlike previous presidential candidates who received quality time with the Prime Minister, Carson did not get to meet Netanyahu in person, “due to scheduling issues.” He did meet Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, visit an army base, and take a six-hour helicopter tour of the country with former deputy chief of staff and National Security Council head Uzi Dayan.