Trump wants to be 'neutral guy' in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations
Donald Trump waded into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process morass, claiming that a deal was impossible at the same time as saying he would be a "neutral guy" in any negotiations.
"If I win, I don’t want to be in a position where I’m saying to you [my choice] and the other side now says, ‘We don’t want Trump involved,'" Trump said of potentially winning the presidency and then brokering a lasting peace deal.
“Let me be sort of a neutral guy,” the billionaire added. "I have friends of mine that are tremendous businesspeople, that are really great negotiators, [and] they say it’s not doable.
“You understand a lot of people have gone down in flames trying to make that deal. So I don’t want to say whose fault it is – I don’t think that helps.”
Trump said he would seek harmony in the Middle East as commander in chief no matter the difficulty.
“That’s probably the toughest deal in the world right now to make,” he said. "It’s possible it’s not makeable because don’t forget, it has to last.
“A lot of people say an agreement can’t be made, which is OK, sometimes agreements can’t be made [and they are] not good. I will give it one hell of a shot. I would say if you can do that deal, you can do any deal.”
Trump added that the biggest obstacle between Israel and Palestine making amends is the cycle of hatred between both factions.
“You have one side in particular growing up and learning that ‘these are the worst people, these are the worst people, etc., etc.,” he said.
“I was with a very prominent Israeli the other day and he said it’s impossible because the other side has been trained from the time they’re children to hate Jewish people. I’m going to give it a shot."
What exactly is Trump saying here? He's saying everything to everybody. A deal isn't "doable," but he's going to "give it a shot." He doesn't want to blame either side for the failures of the peace process, so he will remain "neutral."
Even for Trump, this is pretty incoherent. Does he really want to remain "neutral"? That will almost certainly rile many Jewish voters and some of his evangelical base, who are strong supporters of Israel. And no matter how confident he is in his own abilities to negotiate, bringing about a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians is nothing like negotiating for a property or a building. It's disturbing that Trump doesn't seem to know that.
It's best that Trump keep his mouth shut about any foreign policy issue, since his knowledge on the subject is an inch deep and a yard wide.