Trump adviser says Israeli settlements 'not obstacle to peace'

Trump adviser says Israeli settlements 'not obstacle to peace'
2 min read
10 November, 2016
A top adviser to President-elect Donald Trump says his boss doesn’t think Israeli settlements should be condemned and they don’t pose an “obstacle to peace.”
Trump suggested Washington would accept illegal Israeli settlements under his tenure [AFP]
A top adviser to President-elect Donald Trump says his boss doesn’t think Israeli settlements should be condemned and they don’t pose an “obstacle to peace.”

Jason Greenblatt’s comments to Israel’s Army Radio on Thursday would mark a stark departure from the long-time American stance that Israeli construction in areas captured in the 1967 war makes it more difficult to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Greenblatt is the chief legal officer and executive vice president at the Trump Organisation. He has been tapped by Trump as his top adviser on Israel.

Israel and the US are close allies but relations were often tense between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, mainly over Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians. Netanyahu and Trump are friendly and ties are expected to improve.

Meanwhile, according the Guardian, Israeli government ministers and political figures are pushing the US president-elect to quickly fulfil his campaign promise to overturn decades of US foreign policy and recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

Earlier, Israel’s education minister, Naftali Bennett said Trump’s election should signal the end of the two-state solution and aspirations for a Palestinian state.

Trump’s election was welcomed by the Israeli prime minister, who called him a “true friend” of Israel.

“President-elect Trump is a true friend of the state of Israel,” said Netanyahu in a statement. “We will work together to advance the security, stability and peace in our region. The strong connection between the United States and Israel is based on shared values, shared interests and a shared destiny.

“I’m certain that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between Israel and the United States, and bring it to new heights,” he added.

After a phone conversation between Netanyahu and Trump later, it emerged that Trump had invited the Israeli prime minister to the US. “President-elect Trump invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to a meeting in the United States at the first opportunity,” said a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also congratulated Trump.
“I want to congratulate President elect Donald Trump, his family, and all the American people who have once again shown the world it is the greatest democracy.”