Ex-Knesset Speaker: Time for Two-state Solution Running Out

Avraham Burg says land 'too small' for two states, bi-national federation should be established instead.

Former Knesset speaker Avraham (Avrum) Burg said on Wednesday that the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about to expire.

"The clock is ticking and the days of a viable two-state solution are numbered," Burg said during a conference in the Arab town of Baka al-Gharbiyeh.

Burg said that the preferable solution for him would be an Israeli-Palestinian federation, which will cater to the two nationalities living in the region, since it is "too small" to accommodate two states.

He called on the Israelis to relinquish their sovereignty over the Temple Mount and on the Palestinians to give up the "practice of the Right of Return," and then establish a bi-national federation.

The conference, entitled "Families on Hold," dealt with the issue of Palestinian spouses of Israeli Arabs who cannot obtain permanent residency in Israel. It was organized by Shatil, the Empowerment and Training Center for Social Change Organizations in Israel, and other organizations.

Addressing this issue, Burg said that Israeli Arabs should lobby political figures in order to correct the situation.

"It should be championed by Jewish, not Arab, MKs. It is not the plight of the Arab minority, because it has many others, but the universal responsibility of the majority," he said.