President Trump said today that he thinks a two-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians could be “more difficult because it’s a real-estate deal” but “works better because you have people governing themselves.”
Trump indicated at his UN press conference in New York that he’d “love to be able to make a deal with the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
“You know, my whole life I was told that’s the toughest deal. And I disagree, I think healthcare is probably tougher, OK, you want to know the truth,” he said. “…Every possible thing is tough about that. I think we’re going to make a deal.”
Trump added that senior advisor Jared Kushner, who is overseeing Middle East peace talks, “loves Israel but he’s also going to be very fair with the Palestinians.”
“He understands it takes two people to be happy, two groups of people to be happy,” he said. “Everybody’s got to be happy and that’s why it’s so tough, because there’s been so much hatred and anger for so many years, that’s what probably the number one ingredient of toughness is.”
Trump said he thinks the outcome will be a two-state solution, “and if you ask most of the people in Israel, they agree with that.”
“I’m happy if they’re happy. I’m a facilitator, I want to see if I can get a deal done so that people don’t get killed anymore.”
The president said it was during his visit to Saudi Arabia and discussions with leaders from Muslim countries that he “started to realize that peace between Israel and the Palestinians for the Middle East is a very important thing and we’re trying very hard to get it.”
Trump met one-on-one with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, at which he told reporters he wants a peace deal before the end of his term so “it will start moving pretty soon, pretty rapidly.”
“There’s nothing I would rather do than see peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” he said. “…We’re working on deals. I think that — I really believe something will happen.”
“And I can I say that I think a lot of progress has been made. I think that Israel wants to do something and I think that the Palestinians actually want to do something. A lot of progress has been made.”
He stressed while sitting with Netanyahu that he prefers a two-state solution. “I like two-state solution. Yeah. That’s what I think — that’s what I think works best,” Trump said. “I don’t even have to speak to anybody, that’s my feeling. Now, you may have a different feeling — I don’t think so — but I think two-state solution works best.”
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said in Ramallah that “in response to what Trump said about the two-state solution, the two-state solution means to us that we have a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
“This is the only way to achieve peace,” he added.
Abbas is scheduled to speak at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. Netanyahu will address the chamber after Abbas.