In February of this year, Donald Trump emphatically stated he would try to remain neutral if he were in the position of brokering a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
As The Hill reported, he said, Let me be sort of a neutral guy. I have friends of mine that are tremendous businesspeople, that are really great negotiators, [and] they say it’s not doable.
That’s probably the toughest deal in the world right now to make,” he said. “It’s possible it’s not makeable because, don’t forget, it has to last.
“You have one side in particular growing up and learning that ‘these are the worst people, these are the worst people, etc., etc.,” he said. “I was with a very prominent Israeli the other day and he said it’s impossible because the other side has been trained from the time they’re children to hate Jewish people. I’m going to give it a shot.”
Well, if he IS in a position give it a shot, he might not be so neutral after all.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, Trump took a slightly different tact.
Donald Trump came down foursquare in favor of new construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank on Monday, telling Dailymail.com that the controversial practice has to ‘keep going’ and ‘keep moving forward.’
There are ‘thousands of missiles being launched into Israel,’ he said Monday. ‘Who would put up with that? Who would stand for it?’
Asked whether there should be a pause in new construction – which the Obama administration has pressured Netanyahu’s government to observe in order to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table – Trump responded: ‘No, I don’t think it is, because I think Israel should have – they really have to keep going. They have to keep moving forward.’
‘No, I don’t think there should be a pause,’ Trump said. ‘Look: Missiles were launched into Israel, and Israel, I think, never was properly treated by our country. I mean, do you know what that is, how devastating that is?’
Middle East expert Aaron David Miller, who has advised multiple U.S. presidents on Israeli-Palestinian issues, told Dailymail.com that Trump has created controversy with his prior comments about ‘housing projects.’
Referring to his latest pronouncements, he said, ‘He’s green-lighted Israeli settlements. But I suspect in the unimaginable event he became president [that] would tighten up in a negotiation.’
Well Mr. Miller, despite what you and many others think, Trump becoming president might not be such an “unimaginable event.”
What I am personally finding “unimaginable” is the level of vitriol and polarization occurring in our nation during this election season. And that’s just in the GOP, where we’re all supposedly on the ‘same side.” We may be seeing a rift in the Republican Party where peace will be as elusive as it is in Israel.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]