National Security Adviser John Bolton called Palestine “the so-called state of Palestine” Wednesday at the White House, raising the ire of some reporters in the room.
One reporter challenged Bolton’s classification, asking, “Is that language productive?”
Bolton did not hesitate in his response, saying, “It’s accurate. It is not a state.”
The reporter countered, asking, “Is using that sort of language productive in [Trump’s] goals?”
Bolton made it clear he would not be backing down on the term.
Of course, it’s not a state now. It does not meet the customary international test of statehood. It does not control defined boundaries. There’s a whole host of reasons why it’s not a state. It could become a state, as the president said, but that requires diplomatic negotiations with Israel and others. Calling it the so-called state of Palestine defines exactly what it has been, a position that the United States government has pursued uniformly since 1988 when the Palestinian authority declared itself to be the state of Palestine. We don’t recognize it as the state of Palestine, we have consistently, through Democratic and Republican administrations, opposed the admission of Palestine to the United Nations as a state, because it’s not a state.
Bolton used air quotes when he referred to “the so-called state” of Palestine in his comments.
The Trump administration said has said they are interested in pursuing a “two-state solution” in Israel.