Trump Questions Israel Commitment to Peace
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday questioned Israel’s commitment to take the necessary steps in pursuing a lasting peace with the Palestinians.
In an interview with the Associated Press, published mere hours before he[‘s expected to take the stage at the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump said that if elected president he will give it six months to determine whether Israel or the Palestinians are ready to advance towards a final settlement.
“I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to make it,” Trump told AP. “If I win, I’ll let you know six months from the time I take office.”
But he emphasized that it all rests with Israel. “A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal — whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things,” Trump said. “They may not be, and I understand that, and I’m OK with that. But then you’re just not going to have a deal.”
As usual, the Republican presidential frontrunner was short on specifics. Trump refused to say if he’ll demand a settlement freeze or whether he’s supportive of the two-state solution. “Well, I’m not going to even say that,” he told AP. Though adding that Israel’s building in West Bank settlements would be a “huge sticking point” in peace talks.
On Wednesday, Trump announced he will be traveling to Israel and meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “very soon.”
“Very soon I’m going to Israel,” the Republican presidential hopeful said during a campaign rally in Virginia. “I’m going to be meeting with (Prime Minister) Bibi Netanyahu.” During his interview with AP, Trump said he also wants to meet with “other people” to “get some ideas on it.”