Trump Taps Advisors to Head ‘Israel Advisory Committee’
Ahead of the much anticipated vice presidential announcement, Donald Trump on Thursday announced the formation of an “Israel Advisory Committee,” which will analyze U.S. policy on Israel and offer recommendations on alternative solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Trump’s two Israel-related advisors, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, will serve as co-chairs of the committee, according to a news release.
Dr. Richard Roberts, a prominent Republican donor from Lakewood, NJ has been appointed as vice chair. “It is a great privilege to be asked to join this committee which, among other things, intends to analyze the status quo, seeking input from all parties on potential new solutions to seemingly intractable problems, and to recommend solutions to Mr. Trump,” Roberts said on Thursday.
Back in March, Roberts blasted top Republican donors for running a “smear campaign” to stop Trump from becoming the Republican Party’s nominee.
“We mustn’t fear taking new, constructive and mutually beneficial steps to advance the cause of peace in the region, recognizing, at all times, the moral and strategic alliance, as well as the unbreakable bond, between the United States and Israel,” Trump said in a statement. “That’s why I’ve asked Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman to lead my Israel Advisory Committee, to help me take a fresh look at the current conflict and what we can do to help reduce tensions.”
Trump’s advisors have been talking publicly about nixing the two-state solution in favor of a more right-wing approach to the conflict ever since they were outed as advisors in April.
This week, the Republican Party’s platform committee unanimously approved language that drops any reference to the party’s longstanding support for the two-state solution in its 2016 platform.
“The Republican platform is most pro-Israel of all time!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
In May, months after he first floated the idea of remaining “neutral” on Israel, Trump said Israel should not be pressed to halt new construction in West Bank settlements in order to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table. “No, I don’t think there should be a pause,” Trump told DailyMail.com “I think Israel really have to keep going. They have to keep moving forward.” 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. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee also said seeing Israel and the Palestinians sign on a peace deal would be a “beauty” in spite of the situation on the ground.
In an interview with the Jewish Week published this week, Greenblatt said the two states for two people solution shouldn’t be taken as a given. “My view is that we should look at a single-state solution — and any other options on the table,” he told the NY-based Jewish publication.
In an interview with Jewish Insider, Friedman said Trump would likely support Israeli annexation of large settlement blocs in the West Bank if the stalemate in the peace process persists.