THIS INTERVIEW SPEAKS FOR ITSELF
- From Daily Mail:
- In interview with DailyMail.com, Donald Trump says Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu should continue building West Bank settlements
- Rejects call for a pause in settlements as a precursor to peace talks with Palestinians
- ‘I don’t think there should be a pause,’ Trump said; ‘Look: Missiles were launched into Israel’
- The billionaire GOP front-runner said of Netanyahu: ‘I don’t know him that well, but I think I’d have a very good relationship with him’
Donald Trump came down foursquare in favor of new construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank on Monday, telling Dailymail.com that the controversial practice has to ‘keep going’ and ‘keep moving forward.’
There are ‘thousands of missiles being launched into Israel,’ he said Monday. ‘Who would put up with that? Who would stand for it?’
Trump said last year he would like to initially remain ‘neutral’ in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as president, a position that he believes would allow him a better opportunity to be seen as a peace broker.
Meanwhile he has repeatedly expressed his love for Israel and increasingly his support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his policies, all while repeatedly trashing the Barack Obama-backed Iran nuclear deal.
But in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Trump came out for the continued construction of new settlements irrespective of Israeli government policy.
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BUILD, SAYS THE BUILDER: Donald Trump said Monday that Israel should continue construction of West Bank settlements
WHAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT: The Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev near the West Bank city of Ramallah is one example of the more than 200 new settler homes Israel has approved this year in the West Bank
‘MISTREATED’: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke last year before a joint session of Congress but President Barack Obama didn’t meet with him while he was in Washington
Asked whether there should be a pause in new construction – which the Obama administration has pressured Netanyahu’s government to observe in order to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table – Trump responded: ‘No, I don’t think it is, because I think Israel should have – they really have to keep going. They have to keep moving forward.’
‘No, I don’t think there should be a pause,’ Trump said. ‘Look: Missiles were launched into Israel, and Israel, I think, never was properly treated by our country. I mean, do you know what that is, how devastating that is?’
‘With all of that being said, I would love to see if peace could be negotiated. A lot of people say that’s not a deal that’s possible. But I mean lasting peace, not a peace that lasts for two weeks and they start launching missiles again. So we’ll see what happens,’ Trump added.
‘I’d love to negotiate peace. I think that, to me, is the all-time negotiation,’ Trump said, in reference to stalled peace talks – which Palestinian negotiators say won’t occur without a halt in new construction.
The Obama administration demanded in 2009 that Netanyahu’s administration freeze new settlement construction in an effort to get the two sides to the negotiating table.
Clinton herself admitted the position may have backfired in her memoir, ‘Hard Choices.’
‘In retrospect, our early, hard line on settlements didn’t work,’ she wrote.