President Donald J. Trump said today that he will not make it imperative any longer that the solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict must be a two-state solution. This is a contradiction of decade-old policy that has defined America’s role in the Middle East since Clinton.
I’m looking at two-state and one-state, I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one.
-President Donald Trump on Israeli-Palestinian policy
What Mr. Trump is saying is that he doesn’t care, he just doesn’t have an opinion on what is one fo the most important issues on the table right now. He is minimizing the extent to which his views and what he says down to what “both parties” like. He doesn’t have an opinion, he’s just up ‘for whatever’.
His comments were ‘big league’ divergent with two decades of diplomatic policy, a policy that has shaped administrations and made the difference between war and peace.
He didn’t focus on the policy as much as he did on his overwhelming confidence that he could broker a deal, a great one.
I think we’re going to make a deal, it might be a better and better deal than the people in this room even understand
-President Donald Trump on a Israeli peace agreement
Although he changed his policy on a two-state solution, he still remained adamant about ceasing settlements by Israel in the West Bank.
I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a bit
-President Donald Trump to Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel
He also stressed that Israel would have to be flexible in any negotiations. “As with any successful negotiation, both sides will have to make compromises,” President Trump said.
Mr. Netanyahu, who supports although not Ish the Palestinians.
Mr. Netanyahu also remarked that a two-state solution meant something different to different states in the Middle East. He once again stated terms that had to be agreed upon: that the Palestinians had to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and that Israel would be able to keep security control of the West Bank.
He also noted that a possible stymie to peace between Israel and Palestine is Palestinian hate, expressed through the Palestinians building statues of people who carry out terrorist attacks.
President Trump has been working closely with his son in law, Jared Kushner, on a new approach they call the “outside-in strategy”, which consists of banding together Arab nations that have a common cause with the state of Israel against their mutual enemy Iran to help create a settlement deal with the Palestinians.
“Authority matters,” said Dennis Ross, who has served many presidents as a Middle East negotiator. “People in the region can smell it when negotiators don’t have it, and I think the authority counts a lot.”