Murphy ‘Heartened’ by Trump’s Settlement Policy

WASHINGTON – With the Trump Administration both publicly and privately calling on Israel to restrain settlement construction, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), who serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, told Jewish Insider that he is encouraged by the President’s recent policy. “I have been heartened to see a change in tone in the Trump Administration on the question of settlements. And I am glad that there has been a response from the Israeli government,” he said.

At a February 15 press conference, Trump told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “I’d like to see you hold back on settlements.” Furthermore, in a February interview with the Sheldon Adelson-owned paper Yisrael Hayom, Trump noted, “There is limited remaining territory. Every time you take land for a settlement, less territory remains. I’m not someone who believes that advancing settlements is good for peace.”

Last week, Netanyahu announced a policy of restrained settlement construction in a show of good will to President Donald Trump.

“I think it’s important that our policy towards settlements be consistent,” said Murphy. “Ultimately, we need to get both sides to the table and that wasn’t going to happen if settlement continued at the pace of late last year.”

Asked if he supports the President’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking Member on the Foreign Relations Committee, told Jewish Insider, I have no idea. He (Trump) has not been very articulate.”

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