The self-proclaimed great negotiator President of the United States made it clear he will support whatever peace deal the Israelis and the Palestinians reach in comments on Wednesday—even if that means dropping the long-promoted two-state solution. “I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” remarked Donald Trump in an apparently playful mood. “…I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two… If Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”
Trump, in comments with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that were posted to the White House website, also came out and gave his suggested compromise for Israel to achieve a deal with the Palestinians. “As far as settlements, I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit. We’ll work something out,” Trump told Netanyahu. Later, the Israeli leader noted that he planned to discuss the issue of Israeli construction in the Biblical heartland with Trump “so we can arrive at an understanding so we don’t keep on bumping into each other all the time on this issue.” Netanyahu also argued against the importance of settlements in the overall scheme of things.
“I believe that the issue of the settlements is not the core of the conflict, nor does it really drive the conflict,” said the Israeli Premier. “I think it’s an issue, it has to be resolved in the context of peace negotiations.”
On the other side, Netanyahu emphasized that the Palestinians needed to accept Israeli “overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River” and to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Trump liked that last point in particular, commenting on it later.
“I think the Palestinians have to get rid of some of that hate that they’re taught from a very young age,” said Trump, noting he’d seen what’s been taught. “…And they have to acknowledge Israel—they’re going to have to do that. There’s no way a deal can be made if they’re not ready to acknowledge a very, very great and important country. And I think they’re going to be willing to do that also.”
Trump believed that Israel and the Palestinians had a better shot at reaching peace because of plans to engage a broader coalition of Middle East nations on the topic. “It’s actually a much bigger deal, a much more important deal, in a sense. It would take in many, many countries and it would cover a very large territory,” said Trump, later remarking that “I also believe we’re going to have other players at a very high level, and I think it might make it easier on both the Palestinians and Israel to get something done.”
As for moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, Trump said he’d love to see it happen. “We’re looking at it very, very strongly. We’re looking at it with great care—great care, believe me. And we’ll see what happens.”
Trump and Netanyahu were obviously working to stay on the same page, and that included the matter of Iran. The Israeli leader highlighted that as an area where the Trump administration was fighting radical Islamic terror, saying “Israel stands with you.”
For his part, the American President made sure to attack again the Iran nuclear deal reached by the previous Administration.
“One of the worst deals I’ve ever seen is the Iran deal,” said Trump. “My administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran, and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing—I mean ever—a nuclear weapon.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, February 15, 2017)