Trump Adviser: President-Elect Does Not View Settlements as Obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian Peace
JNS.org – One of Donald Trump’s top advisers on Israel told Israel’s Army Radio on Thursday that the president-elect does not view settlements as an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.
“The two sides are going to have to decide how to deal with that region, but it’s certainly not Mr. Trump’s view that settlement activity should be condemned,” Jason Greenblatt said, adding, “Peace has to come from the parties themselves. Any meaningful contribution he can offer up, he is there to do; it is not his goal, nor should it be anyone else’s goal, to impose peace on the parties.”
Trump’s position differs from that of President Barack Obama, who — after taking office in 2009 — called on Israel to freeze settlement activity as a precondition for peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eventually imposed a 10-month construction freeze. Obama’s focus on settlement construction early in his first term led to a rift in relations between the two leaders.