President Donald Trump's hope Wednesday a "one-state" solution could also bring peace in the Middle East is not "viable or feasible," former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell said.
"There is no viable or feasible one-state solution," the Maine Democrat told Anderson Cooper on CNN. "Difficult enough for anyone, in every circumstance, but I think it will circle back, eventually, to two-state solution, because there has to be a separation."
At a White House news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said that, "I’m looking at two-state and one-state — and I like the one that both parties like.
"I’m very happy with the one that both parties like," he added. "I can live with either one."
Mitchell, 83, who represented Maine for 15 years, served as majority leader from 1989 to 1995.
He also was a presidential envoy to the Mideast and to Northern Ireland.
Mitchell is co-author of the new book, "A Path to Peace: A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East," with Alon Sachar.
While President Trump might have put forth his "one-state" position casually, "the reality is to the contrary," Mitchell said.
"What he said was what the two of them want," he told Cooper. "And of course, the problem is what the two of them want are different.
"Otherwise, there would have been an agreement long before now.
"But the one-state solution assumes that the Palestinians will give up their search for a state," Mitchell said.
"In fact, they have no better example of persistence and determination than the Israelis themselves.
"There is no comparable event in history to the Jews being forcibly dispersed the 2,000 years ago, and then regrouping and getting their state through determination and persistence," he explained. "There's no reason to believe that the Palestinians are any less determined."
Other realities, Mitchell said, have tempered President Trump's stances on certain issues regarding Israel — including his slam of the Obama administration in December for abstaining on a U.N. Security Council vote condemning settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
"He's confronted with the realities now," he said. "You can say anything you want on the campaign trail.
"You can promise anything you want.
"But when you confront the hard realities, when you're in office, when you get information that makes it clear that what you said in the campaign just isn't realistic, then you have to modify your views."
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