Israel News

Trump Says Peace Between Israel and Palestinians is the “Ultimate Deal”

Since his election on November 8, President-elect Trump has addressed the issue of peace between the Israelis and Palestinians several times. 

In a post-election interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump called the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “the war that never ends. That’s the ultimate deal,” Mr. Trump said. “As a deal maker, I’d like to do…the deal that can’t be made.”

Two weeks ago, Trump said, “I believe that my administration can play a significant role in helping the parties to achieve a just, lasting peace — which must be negotiated between the parties themselves, and not imposed on them by others.”

Talking to the New York Times this week, Trump said he would “love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians. That would be such a great achievement.” Trump suggested that his Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner could help broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

David Friedman, his lawyer with whom Trump consults on Israel-related matters, said in an interview to The Algemeiner shortly before the elections that a Trump administration “would not try to force Israel into a particular outcome, but rather will support Israel in reaching its own conclusion about how to best achieve peace with its neighbors.”

“We trust Israel,” he continued. “We think it is doing an excellent job of balancing its respect for human rights and its security needs in a very difficult neighborhood. Israel is a partner with the US in the global war against terrorism. And we want our partner to be attendant to that task and not distracted by foreign countries telling it what to do.”

He said Trump would not expect Israel to uproot its citizens living in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. “It makes no sense for Judea and Samaria to be ‘Judenrein,’ any more than it makes sense for Israel to be ‘Arabrein’.”

Friedman explained: “The critical thing is to recognize that there is not going to be any progress on a Palestinian state until the Palestinians renounce violence and accept Israel as a Jewish state. Until that happens, there is nothing to talk about in terms of a political process.”

Friedman’s words are being increasingly echoed among Israeli government ministers. Tzippy Hotovely, a deputy Foreign Minister, blasted proponents of a two-state solution that would include the removal of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and called it “ethnic cleaning.”

Hotovely instead called for Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, and to end the “myth of occupation” that Palestinian statehood was rooted in. “The term 'occupation' is legally wrong and historically wrong. We need a new way of thinking about the fact that Jews should live in their homeland.”

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