President Elect Donald J. Trump, possibly the most unpredictable man in American political history, has reiterated his promise to employ his “Art of the Deal” in achieving lasting peace between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. In an interview to the Wall Street Journal Friday, in which he also said he would leave in place parts of Obamacare, and said he got a “beautiful” letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin upon his victory, Trump repeated his promise “to help craft a resolution” for the Israel-Palestine situation, which he called “the war that never ends.”
Back in March 2016, candidate Trump told the NY Times regarding the two-state solution, “I would love to see if a deal could be made. If a deal could be made. Now, I’m not sure it can be made, there’s such unbelievable hatred, there’s such, it’s ingrained, it’s in the blood, the hatred and the distrust, and the horror. But I would love to see if a real deal could be made. Not a deal that you know, lasts for three months, and then everybody starts shooting again. And a big part of that deal, you know, has to be to end terror, we have to end terror.”
Trump then said, “Basically I support a two-state solution on Israel,” with the proviso that “the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Have to do that. And they have to stop the terror, stop the attacks, stop the teaching of hatred, you know?”
The Trump/Pence campaign website has since then removed all references to the two-state solution from its “Foreign Policy and Defeating ISIS” positions page. But now, in his WSJ interview, the President Elect confessed to his desire for incorporating what he termed “the ultimate deal,” noting that “as a deal maker, I’d like to do… the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.”
Walid Phares, a Trump top foreign policy adviser, told BBC Radio on Thursday that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is a Trump top agenda item. “He is ready and he will immediately move to try and solve the problem between Palestinian and Israelis,” Phares said. “He told me personally that, as the author of ‘The Art of the Deal,’ it’s not going to be impossible for him to broker a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians. At least he’s going to go in that direction and not waste eight years — four years for now — not doing something for the Palestinians and Israelis.”
Greenblatt on Thursday told Israel’s Army Radio that “Trump thinks Israel is in a difficult situation and must defend herself. Peace must arrive through a bilateral initiative and he has no plan to get involved in it.”
But that was Thursday.