(JNS.org) One of Donald Trump’s top advisers on Israel said that the president-elect does not view Israeli settlements as an obstacle for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.
“Mr. Trump does not view the settlements as being an obstacle for peace,” Trump adviser Jason Greenblatt told Israel’s Army Radio Thursday.
"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,” added Greenblatt.
President-elect Trump would also not impose any solutions on Israel, according to Greenblatt, who said that “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.”
Trump’s position differs from that of President Barack Obama, who after taking office in 2009 called on Israel to impose a freeze on settlement activity as a precondition for peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eventually imposed a 10-month construction freeze. Obama’s focus on settlement construction early in his first term led to a rift in relations between the two leaders.