Trump Campaign Mideast Adviser Walid Phares: President Envisions Resolution to Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Through ‘Moderate Arabs’
A terrorism expert and long-time Fox News analyst who served as the new US leader’s Mideast adviser during the election campaign told the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat about the way in which President Donald Trump envisions a successful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported on Friday.
According to the report, in an interview with the news outlet last week, Walid Phares, an American scholar born in Lebanon, said that Trump “told [him] personally, when [they] met in late 2015…, ‘I want the moderate Arabs to help us, meaning that they talk to the moderate Palestinians while I talk to Israel.’ That is why I believe it is his personal and strategic goal to solve this matter in a just way.”
Phares also noted America’s concern about Iran’s deployment of missile systems across the Middle East, saying, “This problem does not only concern Israel, but rather the entire region. Iran is trying to become the regional Soviet Union, and to spread its radical ideology under the pretext of fighting Israel. The Iranian regime is fighting the people in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and is oppressing Lebanese, and all this under the banner of ‘liberating Jerusalem’…”
He went on to say he believes that if the Iranian people were to rebel against the mullah-led regime, as they attempted to do in 2009, the Trump administration would back the effort.
As The Algemeiner reported on Friday, hints of a shift away from the way in which the Obama administration handled the rebellion across the Islamic Republic, which was put to a violent end by the leadership in Tehran, were underway last week, when Trump extended greetings to the Iranian people – as opposed to their rulers – for the Persian new year, Nowruz.
Phares also alluded to threats issued by Iranian proxy group Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization, to attack Israeli facilities – including the ammonia plant in Haifa. According to MEMRI, Phares warned,
Any terrorist actions by anyone anywhere in the world against any nuclear reactor, or any action that causes a radiation leak that damages the region and the world, will be considered international terrorist acts requiring an appropriate response. If Hezbollah wishes to anger the international community, including Arab and Muslim countries, and other countries, chiefly the US, this would be unprecedentedly reckless. Hezbollah knows this, and [nevertheless] threatens such attacks. The results [of these attacks] would be devastating, mostly for Hezbollah itself. I am not saying they would be devastating for Lebanon. Perhaps the Lebanese are worried and fear the response of Israel and the international community, or of [Arab] countries in the Middle East. No. There is a clear understanding, at least here in Washington, that if this happens, the response will specifically target Hezbollah and its institutions if it threatens international security.