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Trump Will Not Recognize Palestinian Statehood if Elected President

Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at his Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, March 8, 2016.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has backtracked from his neutral position on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and is now “committed” to supporting Israeli settlement expansion on territories it has seized illegally, according to an advisor.

David M. Friedman, a real-estate attorney serving as Trump’s main advisor on Israel, said the Republican presidential candidate and reality television star would not support the recognition of the Palestinian state without “the approval of the Israelis.” Friedman also remarked that Trump was unconcerned with the inhabitants of the West Bank, because “nobody really knows how many Palestinians live there.”

Trump made Friedman a part of his campaign staff in April, at a meeting with Orthodox Jews, naming him and Jason Greenblatt, another real-estate lawyer and Trump’s chief attorney, as his advisors on Israel. Friedman said at the time, “Mr. Trump’s confidence is very flattering. My views on Israel are well known, and I would advise him in a manner consistent with those views. America’s geopolitical interests are best served by a strong and secure Israel, with Jerusalem as its undivided capital.” Friedman has made no secret of his feelings about a two-state solution with Palestine, writing that, “It was never a solution, just an illusion that served both the US and the Arabs.”

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin

Trump has an earned a reputation for taking contradictory stances on issues, and when asked in May if he thought Israel should cease construction on the West Bank, the candidate said, “No, I don’t think there should be a pause…because I think Israel should have – they really have to keep going. They have to keep moving forward.” Later in the same interview he remarked, “I’d love to negotiate peace. I think that, to me, is the all-time negotiation…I would love to see if peace could be negotiated. A lot of people say that’s not a deal that’s possible. But I mean lasting peace, not a peace that lasts for two weeks and they start launching missiles again. So we’ll see what happens.”

Friedman says Trump’s attitude toward Israel is positive, and his view on the Palestinian state springs, in part, to a lack of power on the part of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “His [Trump’s] feeling about Israel,” Freidman said, “is that it is a robust democracy. He does not think it is an American imperative for [Gaza Strip and other territories seized by Israel] to be an independent Palestinian state.”

When asked directly about his own feelings on recognizing the State of Palestine, Friedman was open, if tentative.

“If the Israelis conclude that they need to do this [recognize the Palestinian state] in order to enhance their long-term security – which I think we are very skeptical about – but if this is what they conclude they want to do, we will respect this decision…. If the circumstances change… and there is a reason to be optimistic, then great, but the current facts don’t make that [recognizing the Palestinian state] an American imperative at all.” he said.

(Source / 25.06.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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