Israel-Palestinian conflict: Thomas Bach: IOC shows how a two-state solution works

Israel-Palestinian conflict
Thomas Bach: IOC shows how a two-state solution works

After Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, the region is in a state of war. It is unclear what a peaceful solution could look like. Now IOC boss Thomas Bach takes the floor and calls his organization a role model for the path to a “two-state solution”.

In the conflict between Israel and Palestinians, IOC President Thomas Bach recommends his Rings organization as an example of possible paths to a peaceful solution. The 30 years of parallel membership of both peoples in the International Olympic Committee since the recognition of the Palestinian Olympic Committee (POC) is “proof that a two-state solution can be possible,” said Bach in Paris at a conference with representatives of former host cities for Olympic games.

“In dealing with the situation between Israel and Palestine, we have an advantage because both belong to the Olympic movement, what in the political world would be called the ‘two-state solution’,” explained Bach at the event in preparation for the 2024 Summer Games in France’s capital his perspective. The German Ringe boss expressly referred to the stability of this constellation: “Two National Olympic Committees have lived in peaceful coexistence for decades.”

The POC has been recognized by the IOC since 1993. A delegation from the organization first took part in the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. Most recently, five athletes took part in Olympic competitions under the Palestinian flag during the 2021 Summer Games in Tokyo. Bach emphasized the opportunities for direct exchanges with both Israel’s representatives and Palestinian officials within the secure IOC framework. “We have the opportunity to talk to both sides,” said Bach, adding that we have “direct contacts” with the national Olympic committees in Israel and on the Palestinian side.

In fact, the IOC has long been one step ahead of the United Nations (UN) through the equal membership of Israel’s national Olympic organization and the Palestinian Olympians. In the UN, Palestine has only had the status of an “observer state” for eleven years.

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