Trump adviser says GOP nominee won’t push Israel on peace deal if elected
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He respects 'the independence of the Israeli government'

Trump adviser says GOP nominee won’t push Israel on peace deal if elected

David Friedman claims Trump not 'for or against per say a two-state solution,' but will leave it up to the Israelis

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

David Friedman, Donald Trump's adviser on Israel, speaks to Channel 10 News on September 14, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)
David Friedman, Donald Trump's adviser on Israel, speaks to Channel 10 News on September 14, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Donald Trump will not propose a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if elected US president this November, a senior adviser to the Republican presidential nominee said Wednesday on Israeli television.

But Trump will back Israel in any path it chooses, said David Friedman who advises Trump on Israel-American affairs.

“He is not for or against per say a two-state solution,” Friedman told Channel 10 on Wednesday.

“What he’s for, is respecting the independence of the Israeli government and their democratically elected leadership to reach — without pressure from the United States — their own vision on how the Israelis and Palestinians should live side by side,” he said.

“Mr. Trump is not going to have his finger on the scale trying to push Israel in a particular direction,” Friedman added. “He has great confidence in the Israeli government and the Israeli people.”

Donald Trump delivering a speech in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sept. 7, 2016. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Donald Trump delivering a speech in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sept. 7, 2016. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

“They’re in a difficult situation in a tough neighborhood, and they’re doing the best they can to balance their desire to achieve human rights, democracy and their need for security against a very treacherous enemy,” he said. “I think they’re doing an amazing job, and he thinks they’re doing an amazing job.”

“And unless they come to him seeking help, I think he’s going to respect their views,” he claimed.

Asked whether Trump would “support the Israeli government in any path they choose,” Friedman responded: “That’s correct.”

Though Trump has previously claimed he would be “neutral” and not choose sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he has also endorsed Israel’s settlement enterprise, a partial Israeli annexation of the West Bank, and claimed that US President Barack Obama “has been extremely bad” for Israel.

Earlier this month, Trump said the Iranian nuclear deal was “going to destroy Israel — unless I get elected,” the Columbus Dispatch reported at the time. “Then Israel will be just fine.”

Days later, Friedman walked back Trump’s remarks in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 TV, saying they were “a bit of hyperbole,” but that his boss had made “a point that was legitimate.”

“We have to elect a president who will scrupulously protect Israel,” he said at the time.

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