Trump says Israel settlement growth 'not good for peace'

  • Trump says Israel settlement growth 'not good for peace'

Trump says Israel settlement growth 'not good for peace'

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet U.S. president Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday amid widespread expectations of a shift in USA policy towards Israel by the Trump administration.

Turning to the potential move of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem - a Trump campaign promise that seems to have been put on hold, at least temporarily - Ayalon said, "Here again, I don't think it's realistic to expect any announcements by Trump on this soon".

Although Mr. Trump's comments on the settlements have tamped down expectations on the right of a new era unfettered by American constraints, some analysts here portray the president's position as politically beneficial to Mr. Netanyahu.

Which, in the end, suggests more of the same.

Kara, who is a minister without portfolio, said he discussed the issue with Netanyahu on Sunday before the prime minster left for the an effort to convince him to push the plan, and said Netanyahu would bring up the issue during his meeting with Trump, emphasizing "the issue is on the agenda".

Reportedly the big issues right-wing leaders in Israel want Netanyahu to advance in his talk with Trump are increasing settlement construction, announcing an official end to the two-state negotiations process with the Palestinians, and promoting the move of the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Analysts said Netanyahu could try to reach a middle-of-the-road understanding with Trump that would sanction building inside large Israeli settlement blocs in the West Bank while halting construction outside them.

"They must not be said".

Some members of Netanyahu's government have called for the annexation of parts of the West Bank, a demand he has resisted. "The earth will shake".

Inside Netanyahu's own Likud party, activists have been circulating a letter calling for the prime minister to jettison the two-state paradigm.

Naftali Bennett, head of the far-right Jewish Home party and education minister in Israel's right-wing government, said in November Trump's victory meant the idea of a Palestinian state was over.

There may be a question as to whether the topic will even come up.

Trump, however, has been inconsistent on the matter - suggesting at times he is supportive of growth. In the USA, the previous consensus on a two-state solution has vanished.

The note of caution coincided with a recalibration of statements from the Trump administration on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, bringing them more in line with traditional American positions after earlier indications from the Trump campaign that there would be a relaxing of U.S. constraints on Israel. However, on a proportional basis, the latest results are similar to 2015, when 42% favored a Palestinian state and 38% were opposed.

"You establish a rapport, you get a sense of one another's mettles and you get a better sense of one another's worldview", he said.

"The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions" with Netanyahu, the statement read - which is hardly the support that the Israeli government was looking for.

"I think it is very important for Israelis to understand that 75% of Jewish Americans did not support Donald Trump and they actually disapprove of the job he is doing as president", Ben-Ami said. "I hope that the players will present the lovely face of Israel to their tens of millions of fans in the United States".

Those aren't the real obstacles, of course. But writing in today's The Australian Financial Review he is scathing of the Israeli parliament's decision to approve a law retroactively legalising 4000 settler homes built on privately-owned Palestinian land. But with these players at this time Trump can make deepening U.S. -Israel-Egypt strategic cooperation a major priority of his policy in the Middle East over the next few years.