Trump: Israel Should Continue Settlement Activity
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump insists Israel should keep building settlements in the West Bank because the Palestinians had fired “thousands of missiles” at Israel over the years.
In an interview with DailyMail.com on Monday, Trump was asked whether he would call on Israel to halt new construction in the settlements in order to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table. “No, I don’t think there should be a pause,” Trump said. “I think Israel really have to keep going. They have to keep moving forward.”
There are “thousands of missiles being launched into Israel,” Trump asserted. “Who would put up with that? Who would stand for it? Israel, I think, never was properly treated by our country. I mean, do you know what that is, how devastating that is?”
Nevertheless, Trump reiterated his commitment to pursue peace between Israel and the Palestinians. “I mean lasting peace, not a peace that lasts for two weeks and they start launching missiles again,” he stressed.
On Sunday, Trump told thousands of supporters that said seeing Israel and the Palestinians sign on a peace deal would be a “beauty” in spite of the situation on the ground. “I am going to try and make that deal just because – man, would that be a beauty – if you like deals. I like deals,” Trump said during as campaign rally in Terre Haute, Indiana. “A lot of my Jewish friends say, ‘You will never be able to make the deal’ because there are so many years of hatred, especially on the other side. You know, they grow up as young children hating, hating, hating Israel. I think the deal can be made. But we got to be smart, and we got to use our best people; gotta use me, but you got to use our best people. And I know the best people.”
The Republican presidential hopeful also expressed hope he would have a “very good” working relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I don’t know him that well, but I think I’d have a very good relationship with him,” Trump told DailyMail.com. “I think that President Obama has been extremely bad to Israel. The Iran deal is a disaster for Israel.”
Trump had planned to meet with Netanyahu last year during a visit to Israel, but shortly after the meeting was reported, the prime minister’s office sent out a statement rejecting Trump’s comments about Muslims. “Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims,” the statement said. “The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens. At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.” Trump then postponed the trip.
“He said something that wasn’t as positive as I would have liked, and I cancelled it,” Trump told Jewish Insider last month. “I did not particularly like his statement.”
“I like him. I have always liked him,” Trump said. “I was disappointed in his statement. He didn’t say, ‘Don’t come.’ In fact, it was the opposite. But I didn’t like his statement. That wasn’t necessarily the reason I didn’t go, but I didn’t like his statement.”