WASHINGTON – A two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be “like a real estate deal,” President Donald Trump said in a press conference on Wednesday evening. Speaking in New York just hours after a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, during which he expressed his support for a two-state solution, Trump repeated his preference for two states, adding that “I think it will happen. I think we’ll get a deal.” He also said that Netanyahu was “very nice” to him during their meeting.
Trump said that two states was “more likely” to happen than any other solution, but clarified that “as long as they’re both happy, I’m OK with one state, two states, whatever they want.” This statement is similar to things Trump has said in the past. He also said that his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, who is leading the American team in charge of Middle East negotiations, “loves Israel” but nevertheless, will be “very fair to the Palestinians” if negotiations resume.
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Trump later repeated, “I think the two states will happen. I think we’re going to go down the two-states road.” He also said that in his meetings with Arab leaders, he heard from all of them that Israeli-Palestinian peace is important for reaching a broader peace in the Middle East.
Trump used most of the press conference to attack the Democratic Party and the women who have accused his Supreme Court nominee, Bret Kavanaugh, of sexual harassment. He called the accusations against the judge “a con job” and said that if he revoked Kavanaugh’s nomination and nominated a woman instead, she could also be accused of sexual harassment. Trump also said that China respects his “very large brain,” but at the same time, is trying to help the Democrats win control of Congress.
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Trump added that he thinks “if you ask most of the people in Israel, they agree with” his support for a two-state solution, but “nobody wanted to say it. It is a big thing to put it out.”
Earlier Wednesday, after Trump and Netanyahu met, Trump for the first time expressed public and explicit support of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "I like two-state solution. Yeah. That’s what I think… that’s what I think works best," the U.S. president said at a joint press conference. After months of claiming a "deal of the century," Trump assessed that the Palestinians would return to the negotiating table, "100 percent."
For Netanyahu, this is the first time he will be forced to explicitly address the idea of a possible Palestinian state since his "Bar Ilan" foreign policy speech in 2009. When asked by Haaretz whether a Palestinian "state minus," as he defined it, would become a reality during his term, Netanyahu said "I suggest you wait and see. It is important to set what is inadmissible to us: Israel will not relinquish security control west of Jordan. This will not happen so long as I am prime minister and I think the Americans understand that."