Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reversed on his earlier pledge to be a neutral arbiter in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and offered support for Israel expanding illegal settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.
“I don’t think there should be a pause,” Trump told The Daily Mail on Monday, when asked if he would pressure Israel to pause settlement construction as part of an effort to renew peace talks with the Palestinians. “I think Israel really have to keep going. They have to keep moving forward.”
It’s unclear what prompted Trump to take an overtly pro-settlements stance. The reason he offered to the Daily Mail was, “Look, missiles were launched into Israel, and Israel, I think, was never properly treated by our country.”Huffington Post
If Trump follows through with this policy — which is a big if, given his stated preference to be “unpredictable” — it would reverse decades of bipartisan opposition to Israeli settlement building in the Palestinian territories, which violates international law.
Even hawkish pro-Israel lawmakers who back legislation that has the practical effect of legitimizing and protecting Israeli settlements rarely go so far as to publicly encourage the Israeli government to continue building in the disputed territories.
Trump’s remarks on Monday marked the latest in a long list of policy flip flops and contradictions from the casino mogul.
Trump Says Israel Should ‘Keep Moving Forward’ Building Illegal Settlements – So much for being the “neutral guy.”