Trump says settlements not good for peace, but won’t condemn Israel

(JTA) – U.S. President Donald Trump said the expansion of Israeli settlements does not help peacemaking efforts between Israel and the Palestinians, but added he did not wish to condemn the Jewish state.

Trump spoke about the peace process during an interview with Israel Hayom, an Israeli daily owned by Sheldon Adelson, a Republican donor and close associate of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli daily published an excerpt Friday and promised to publish the interview in full on Sunday. [Read more…]

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Trump says he does not want to ‘energize’ white supremacists, defends Bannon

(JTA) – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said he wants to find out if and why he is “energizing” white supremacists.

“It’s not a group I want to energize,” Trump said Tuesday in a meeting with New York Times editorial staff, according to a tweet by Maggie Haberman, a reporter in attendance, referring to the alt-right, a loosely knit assemblage of white supremacists, anti-Semites, anti-immigration advocates and people who revile political correctness. “And if they are energized I want to look into it and find out why.” [Read more…]

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Netanyahu praises Rabin at Knesset memorial of assassination

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin for working toward peace while insisting on security during a special Knesset session to mark 21 years since his assassination.

“Rabin sought peace and extended his hand for peace but fundamentally he understood that the establishment of peace needed to be done in a sober fashion and with responsibility,” Netanyahu said Sunday afternoon. “His insistence on security arrangements, even during his final speech is exactly where I stand: the security arrangements to which even today the Palestinians do not agree.” [Read more…]

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Trump: Israelis and Palestinians must negotiate peace themselves

(JTA) – In his first long statement about Israel since winning the U.S. presidential election, Donald Trump called the Jewish state a “beacon of hope” and vowed to help it make peace with the Palestinians without imposing solutions.

Trump made the statement to Israel Hayom, an Israeli daily owned by Sheldon Adelson, a Jewish casino tycoon who donated significant funds to the Republican candidate’s campaign. The newspaper published the interview with Trump on Friday. [Read more…]

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Trump’s Israel adviser: President-elect does not view settlements as obstacle to peace

Jason Greenblatt serves as co-chairman of the Trump campaign’s Israel Advisory Committee. (Photo/Uriel Heilman)
Jason Greenblatt serves as co-chairman of the Trump campaign’s Israel Advisory Committee. (Photo/Uriel Heilman)

Jason Greenblatt serves as co-chairman of the Trump campaign’s Israel Advisory Committee. (Uriel Heilman)

(JTA) – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump “does not view Jewish settlements as an obstacle to peace,” his top adviser on Israel said.

“I think he would show Gaza as proof of that,” Jason Greenblatt said Thursday morning in an interview with Army Radio. Greenblatt was referring to the fact that all Jewish settlements were unilaterally withdrawn from Gaza in 2005. [Read more…]

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