President-elect Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would “love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” the New York Times reported.
“That would be such a great achievement,” the Republican was quoted as saying during a meeting with New York Times representatives at the newspaper’s Manhattan headquarters.
Furthermore, according to the New York Times, Trump suggested his Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner, who served as a close adviser to Trump during the presidential campaign, could help broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
Alluding to his contentious relationship with the New York Times, Trump quipped, “I do read it. Unfortunately. I’d live about 20 years longer if I didn’t.”
In a statement given to Israel Hayom after his victory over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton 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. Israel and the Jewish people deserve no less.”
Also, 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. And do it for humanity’s sake.”
In an interview with The Algemeiner a week before the election, attorney David Friedman — with whom Trump regularly consults on Israel-related matters — said a Trump administration would not “put its finger on the scale and 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. That’s really the overall premise of the policy — to respect Israel as a partner, and not to unduly influence its decisions.”
Trump, Friedman said, would not expect Israel to uproot its citizens who now live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as part of a future peace settlement.
“It is inconceivable there could be a mass evacuation on that magnitude, in the unlikely event that there was an otherwise comprehensive peace agreement,” Friedman said. “It makes no sense for Judea and Samaria to be ‘Judenrein [void of Jews],’ any more than it makes sense for Israel to be ‘Arabrein [void of Arabs].’ It’s not fair.”
Friedman went on: “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 really nothing to talk about in terms of a political process.”
(c) 2016 The Algemeiner Journal