Trump advisor: Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria not obstacle to peace

Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s advisor on Israel, has reassured Israelis and Jews around the world, saying that, as opposed to previous administrations, President-elect Donald Trump does not view Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as obstacles to peace.

President-Elect Donald Trump does not view Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria as an obstacle to peace, one of his senior advisors said Thursday.

Speaking to IDF Radio, Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s advisor on Israel, that “Mr. Trump does not view the settlements [Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria] as being an obstacle for peace. The two sides are going to have to decide how to deal with that region, but it’s certainly not Mr. Trump’s view that settlement activity should be condemned and that it’s an obstacle for peace – because it is not the obstacle for peace.”

” I think he would show Gaza as proof of that,” Greenblatt said, referring to Israel’s 2005 unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, which included the removal of all 21 Israeli communities and which subsequently led to the advent of Hamas’ rule and three wars against Israel.

In an interview with The Associated Press in December 2015, Trump was asked whether Israel should stop building in Judea and Samaria, Trump responded, “No… I think Israel should have – they really have to keep going. They have to keep moving forward.”

It is of significance to note that Trump’s policy is diametrically opposed to the one adopted by President Barack Obama and his administration, which has repeatedly condemned Israel for its presence in Judea and Samaria and even for its approval of plans for further building.

Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Greenblatt said that the Trump administration “is not going to impose any solution on Israel. He thinks that the peace has to come from the parties themselves. Any meaningful contribution he can offer up, he is there to do,  it is not his goal, nor should it be anyone else’s goal, to impose peace on the parties.”

With regard to Israel’s security challenges, Greenblatt said that  Trump “thinks that Israel is in a very tough situation and needs to defend itself as it needs to defend itself.”

Regarding the recent resolutions adopted by United Nations bodies denying the Jewish links to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem, Greenblatt said that the president-elect recognizes the Jewish People’s right to sit in its eternal capital, Jerusalem, and has expressed disdain at goings-on at UNESCO.

As for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Greenblatt estimated that “I think if he said it, he’s going to do it. He is different for Israel than any recent president there has been, and I think he’s a man who keeps his word.

“He is different for Israel than any recent president has been,” Greenblatt stressed.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News