Nikki Haley weighs in on a two-state solution for Israel and Palestinians

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DERRY, N.H. — Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley weighed in on a two-state solution Tuesday, arguing that “it is not a true conversation” because Palestinians and Iran “don’t want it,” ahead of the expected end of a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas.

Asked by a voter at a town hall here if a two-state solution is possible between Israel and the Palestinians, the 2024 GOP presidential candidate said that when she was working at the U.N., “it was never Israel opposing a two-state solution.”

“It was always the Palestinians and Iran opposing a two-state solution. They never wanted that because they wanted to eliminate Israel altogether,” she said, later adding, “Whatever Israel says they feel like will keep them safe, I will support.”

In 2017, Haley supported a two-state solution while she was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

The voter who asked Haley the question also said that Hamas is “teaching their 5-year-olds how to use guns and hate Jews.”

Haley agreed with the voter. She went on to describe a visit to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which helps Palestinian refugees, saying that there was graffiti everywhere that demonstrated aggression toward Jews.

She also said they had textbooks that said things like “You have five Israeli soldiers, and you kill four Israeli soldiers, how many Israeli soldiers are left?” NBC News has not independently verified Haley’s description of her trip.

The former U.N. ambassador said she “had to fight the State Department bureaucracy to” stop giving away taxpayer dollars to that Palestinian organization, a move the Biden administration has since reversed.

In President Joe Biden’s remarks in Massachusetts on Friday on the release of hostages from Gaza, he talked about ending “this cycle of violence in the Middle east.”

“We renew our resolve to pursue this two-state solution where Israelis and Palestinians can one day live side by side in a two-state solution with equal measure of freedom and dignity, two states for two peoples,” he said.

Other 2024 candidates have also commented on the idea of a two-state solution since Hamas’ attack.

While speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition leadership summit in October, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said: “Stop trying to say that it’s incumbent upon Israel to adopt a ‘two-state solution.’ Can you please explain to me, how are you supposed to have a two-state solution with people that don’t believe in your right to exist as a Jewish state? It doesn’t happen, you can’t do it.”

Asked about a two-state solution during a campaign stop in Creston, Iowa, in mid-November, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy said: “I don’t support a two-state solution. No, that’s Israel’s decision to make.”

In late October, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said “yes” when asked if a two-state solution was still possible as fighting intensified in the Israel-Hamas war.

Former President Donald Trump has not directly addressed a two-state solution since the Oct. 7 attack, but as president in January 2020, he released a Middle East peace plan with what he called a “realistic two-state solution,” which was rejected by Palestinian leaders.

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