axelrod files

Editor’s Note: The Axe Files, featuring David Axelrod, is a podcast distributed by CNN and produced at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. The author works for the podcast.

Chicago CNN  — 

The election of Donald Trump as president has effectively ended the already fading prospects for a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, says Pulitzer Prize-winning author and columnist Thomas Friedman.

Friedman, the former Middle East correspondent for The New York Times, says the peace process is doomed by Trump’s alignment with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the continued expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank territories that would be a part of any future Palestinian state.

“I believe the two-state solution is over. I believe we’re locked into a one-state situation,” Friedman told David Axelrod on “The Axe Files,” a podcast from the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.

President Obama has been an outspoken opponent of expanded settlements and angered Netanyahu last month by refusing to veto a United Nations resolution that condemned Israel’s expansion into the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Friedman also criticized Trump’s nomination of David Friedman, a New York bankruptcy lawyer and staunch supporter of the settlement movement, to serve as US ambassador to Israel.

Trump’s ambassador has attracted controversy in the past for making statements comparing Jews who support a two-state solution to Jews who cooperated with the Nazis, a view Thomas Friedman described as “the most vile thing I’ve ever heard one Jew say to another.”

During the conversation, Friedman discussed what he believes are the transformative changes revolutionizing society today and how we can best adapt to them, a topic he explores in depth in his latest book, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations.

Friedman argues that society is being driven by three major accelerations — in the market, particularly in globalization driven by digitization; in the environment, straining under the weight of climate change and over-population; and in technology, and the notion that our capabilities double every two years.

These accelerations, Friedman says, are “reshaping politics, geopolitics, ethics, the workplace, and community” faster than society is able adapt to them. New problems demand new answers, and he argues that the most effective approach to grappling with these big forces may be found in communities thinking in small and localized ways.

“It’s the healthy community that’s close enough to people and adaptive enough to manage these accelerations,” he says, “and it’s what’s going to have to evolve.” Friedman envisions a coalition of community leaders – from business and philanthropy, to education to local government – “that will govern most effectively in the 21st century.”

To hear the whole conversation with Friedman, which also covered his disagreement with President Obama’s decision to not pursue more direct American intervention in the Syrian civil war, click on To get “The Axe Files” podcast every week, subscribe at