Trump Questions Israel’s Interest In Making Peace

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President Donald Trump questioned Israel’s interest in making peace with the Palestinians in an interview published Sunday, spotlighting settlements as a complicating factor.

In the interview in the Israel Hayom daily, Trump also cast doubt on the Palestinians’ desire to strike a deal. But his comments about Israel mark rare criticism from a president who has publicly sparred with the Palestinians while forging warm ties with Israel ahead of the expected presentation of a U.S. peace outline.

“Right now, I would say the Palestinians are not looking to make peace, they are not looking to make peace. And I am not necessarily sure that Israel is looking to make peace. So we are just going to have to see what happens,” Trump was quoted as saying. He did not disclose details about the anticipated peace plan.

Israel Hayom is owned by American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a Trump backer and a supporter of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the interview, Trump criticized Israel’s West Bank settlements, which the Palestinians and most of the international community view as illegal obstacles to peace. The Trump White House has been less publicly critical of Israel’s settlement building than previous administrations.

“The settlements are something that very much complicates and always have complicated making peace, so I think Israel has to be very careful with the settlements,” he said.

Relations between the U.S. and the Palestinians have spiraled since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December. Since then he has cut U.S. funding to a U.N. agency that assists Palestinians and threatened to withhold aid money to the Palestinians unless they resume negotiations with Israel.

The Palestinians saw Trump’s announcement as unfairly taking sides with Israel. They say the U.S. is not an honest broker and have pre-emptively rejected any peace proposal presented by the Trump administration.

(AP)




3 COMMENTS

  1. Take it easy everyone!

    This is just politics. All he is REALLY doing is protecting HIS back by declaring that – hey I know I told you guys my son in- law is so good at real estate transactions and that a Mideast peace plan would be a piece of cake- well guess what; I may have just spoken to soon and too confidently. I’m afraid he’s merely coming to the realization that what hasn’t happened in decades under many different presidents, from both sides of the political landscape, may just not happen under his leadership either.

    I wouldn’t want to “make peace ” either if I was the Israeli leader. All you gotta do is look back at what they got in return over the last 25-30 years, how miserably every “deal” failed.