Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he supports a “two-state solution” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the Palestinian Authority (PA) must also recognize Israel and stop its incitement to terrorism against Israelis.
Trump’s comments came in a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, published Saturday, in which he outlined what his foreign policy would be should he be elected president.
“Basically I support a two-state solution on Israel. But the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Have to do that,” he said, adding that the PA would also “have to stop the terror, stop the attacks, stop the teaching of hatred.”
“The children, I sort of talked about it pretty much in the [AIPAC] speech, but the children are aspiring to grow up to be terrorists,” continued Trump. “They are taught to grow up to be terrorists. And they have to stop. They have to stop the terror. They have to stop the stabbings and all of the things going on. And they have to recognize that Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. And they have to be able to do that. And if they can’t, you’re never going to make a deal.”
“One state, two states, it doesn’t matter: you’re never going to be able to make a deal” as long as the terrorism continues, the billionaire added. “They have to stop the terror. They have to stop the teaching of children to aspire to grow up as terrorists, which is a real problem. So with that you’d go two states, but in order to go there, before you, you know, prior to getting there, you have to get those basic things done.”
“Now whether or not the Palestinians can live with that? You would think they could. It shouldn’t be hard except that the ingrained hatred is tremendous,” noted Trump.
The interview came days after Trump’s speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference, in which he reiterated his support for Israel while promising to continue to do so if elected President.
Trump also called on the PA stop the terror and incitement in his speech, and outright rejected any "moral equivalence" between Israel and Palestinian terrorists.
“Israel does not name public squares after terrorists. Israel does not pay its children to stab random Palestinians. What President Obama gets wrong about deal making is that he constantly applies pressure on our friends and rewards our enemies,” he said.
Trump has come under fire from his rivals in the presidential race over previous comments in which he hinted he would be “neutral” on the Israel-PA conflict if elected president.
Those comments have elicited criticism from both his Republican rivals as well as Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who called out both Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who said he would not be neutral and would be on Israel’s side.
“I think both of them missed the mark,” Clinton said last month, stressing that “Israel is our partner, our ally” but that she would push for the two-state solution if she is elected president.