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Kristol: Trump Needs 'Coherent Policy-making' With Netanyahu

Kristol: Trump Needs 'Coherent Policy-making' With Netanyahu”

Speaking from the East Room of the White House Wednesday President Donald Trump held a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, indicating the era of harsh tension experienced during the Obama administration is over. Mr Trump signalled that America would defer to local opinion, saying: "So I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both partieslike.I can live with either one". Second, on the few occasions when these peace talks have borne fruit, they do so only because the United States-usually the president himself-has pushed both sides to a common position. He said that also under Trump's leadership, together the USA and Israel "can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam".

It was Netanyahu's first visit to the White House since Trump's election.

For the better part of half a century successive USA governments, Republican and Democrat, have backed a two-state solution.

Trump's potential departure from a two-state solution was refreshing for Mathew Staver, president of Christians in Defense of Israel. Netanyahu and former President Barack Obama repeatedly clashed, and in one of his final acts in office, Obama declined to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel's expansion of settlements in West Bank areas claimed by Palestinians as part of a future state.

Netanyahu said that he wanted to focus on "substance" and not "labels", when asked about his support for a two-state solution.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

Judea and Samaria is the term far-right Israeli politicians use for the West Bank. "Yes, Israel will have to make concessions and we have made concessions". Whether Trump will hold to them is unclear-he did, after all, back down on "One China" a few weeks later.

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For many Palestinians, the meaning or details of a one-state solution remains unclear.

"This President does not want to answer critical questions about his associates, his aides' contacts with the Russians during the course of that campaign, just as his national security adviser is being run out of this White House on a rail", he said.

He also reiterated his decision to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem.

"Neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas want peace", Staver continued. "We're looking at it very very strongly".

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's office issued a statement stressing that the Palestinian Authority remained willing to work with the Trump administration in a positive way to promote peace, but warned of the risky consequences of the new approach. I thought for a while that two states looked like the easier of the two. The Arab leaders must maintain at least rhetorical support for the Palestinians, lest they spark protests by many of their own people.

Soon after, however, the USA president expressed some concern saying he did not see "going forward" with settlements as conducive to peace.

During his confirmation hearing in January, Secretary of Defense James Mattis told Senators he believes Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel and deferred to the Secretary of State on whether it should be moved.



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