Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is absolutely certain that all Jews “want a deal” with the Palestinians. Speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday, Trump refused to provide details of his plan for the region but insisted he’d try to broker a very difficult deal which would make Israel happy.
Trump’s statements on Israel begin at minute 12:07.
In Deuteronomy 20, God instructs the Israelites that they may offer those living in the land to remain peacefully on condition that they accept the rule of the Israelites and abide by Israelite law. However, nations which refuse to live by such conditions are to be conquered. The Palestinian population has yet to demonstrate a willingness to live under Israeli rule, despite international efforts to broker peace negotiations. Not one to back down from a challenge, Trump wants the opportunity to try his hand.
“There is nobody more pro-Israel than I am,” Trump told Stephanopoulos when asked about his previously professed “neutrality” on Israel. Stephanopoulos had asked Trump what stance he would take during his anticipated address at the annual AIPAC conference Monday.
The bulk of the 13-minute-plus phone interview was spent discussing violence which had broken out at a campaign rally in Tucson, Arizona Saturday. Shortly before parting, however, Stephanopoulos confronted Trump over his position on Israel and the Palestinian conflict.
Trump insisted, “A deal would be in Israel’s interests.
“I’ll tell you what,” Trump said, “I don’t know one Jewish person that doesn’t want to have a deal: a good deal, a proper deal, but a really good deal.”
He acknowledged that a deal would be difficult to reach after “decades” of animosity between the two sides, but reiterated that as someone who knows how to “bring sides together”, he would give it his best effort.
In February, Trump made waves by claiming he would remain “neutral” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the interest of being seen as an honest broker by both sides. He was attacked by opponents Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz for his statements, both of whom defended Israel’s position in the conflict. Rubio called the Palestinians to task for “constantly acting in bad faith”, noting a deal in today’s climate is “not possible”, while Cruz stated unequivocally, “If I’m president, America will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel.”
Stephanopoulos continued to press Trump during Sunday’s interview. “So what does a good deal look like? Will Israel have to give up some land?”
“I don’t know any Jewish people that don’t want to make one,” Trump continued. “They’d all love to see a deal made. Now, they want to have a good deal, not an Obama-type deal. They want to have a good deal made.”
When asked for specifics, Trump told Stephanopoulos he’d have to wait for his speech the next day.