Saying that pushing agendas “contrary to the president-elect’s position” would not be in the “spirit of the transition”, Trump national security advisor for Donald Trump last week warned the Obama administration against making moves on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his last months in office.
“On big, transformative issues where President Obama and President-elect Trump are not in alignment, I don’t think it’s in keeping with the spirit of the transition…to try to push through agenda items that are contrary to the president-elect’s positions,” the advisor told Politico.
Trump’s vision for Israel is extremely different from that of Obama, whose relationship with the Jewish state has been strained, to say the least. Trump campaigned on a strong pro-Israel platform, promising to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and hinting that he would lift restrictions on building in settlements, whereas the State Department under Obama has repeatedly and strongly condemned even small-scale Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria.
The Obama Administration’s attempts at making peace failed twice during its eight-year span.
Israeli officials had been steeling for a possible last-minute “November surprise” from Obama in the form of an effort to enlist the United Nations in forcing a Middle East resolution on Israel, likely a two-state solution based on 1967 borders and land swaps.
Israel is firmly against an imposed agreement and maintains that any true peace must be arrived at through direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
While campaigning, Trump said that he would do his best to make peace in the region, and he repeated the sentiment after he became president-elect, saying he was eager to make “the ultimate deal” between Israel and the Palestinians “for humanity’s sake.”
However, his camp is quick to emphasize that it does not intend to force Israel into a deal it doesn’t want. “With Trump, there won’t be any coercion for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He thinks Israel is in a tough position, needs to defend itself and won’t force a solution on Israel,” Trump’s Israel advisor, Jason Greenblatt, said on Thursday.
“Peace has to come from both sides. If Trump will have an idea that can contribute to the sides he will contribute it, but he doesn’t intend to force a solution.”
Along those lines, his future administration is adamant that it doesn’t want Obama pursuing that course in the two months until Trump’s inauguration.
“Obama and his aides shouldn’t go seeking new adventures or pushing through policies that clearly don’t match Trump’s positions,” the Trump advisor told Politico.