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Potential Shift: Trump Warns Israel, ‘New Settlements May Not Help Peace in Middle East’

21st Century Wire says…

Incredibly, Donald Trump may have just thrown an executive head fake to Bibi Netanyahu.

Back in December 2015 during the GOP primary campaign,the Israeli Lobby started getting very interested in Trump after he appeared to blame Israel for not securing a lasting peace agreement with the Palestinians. You could hear a pin drop in the debate hall when Trump opined:

“I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to make it,” Trump said, before explaining that his concerns predominantly reside with “one side in particular [Israel].”

Months later, and only days before the Republican Party’s National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, Trump abandoned any pretence of ‘neutrality’ on the Israel-Palestine issue, insisting that he was now ‘firmly committed’ to supporting Israeli settlement expansion in the illegal occupied territories, as well as not recognizing a Palestinian State.

At the time this was music to Netanyahu’s ears, and even better for the US-based Israel Lobby who spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year to buy-off US Congressmen and Senators in for for Israel to get everything it wants and desires.

And then this happened this week…

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Abby Phillip and Karen DeYoung
Washington Post

The White House on Thursday gently warned Israel that new or expanded settlements in the West Bank “may not be helpful” in achieving a Middle East peace, while insisting it has no “official position on settlement activity.”

A statement issued by press secretary Sean Spicer said that although the administration does not believe settlements are “an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.”

“The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years,” Spicer’s statement said, a reference to President Trump’s insistence that a return to the Middle East negotiating table is a goal he hopes to achieve.

While the statement carefully parsed it words, it marked a step away from what some Trump officials — and the president’s designated new ambassador to Israel — have said in favor of settlements. Trump’s first foreign call as president was to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and he has been sharply critical of former president Barack Obama, whom he characterized as weak on Israel.

The apparent genesis of the statement was a story in Thursday’s Jerusalem Post, which quoted an unnamed senior administration official telling Netanyahu’s government to stop a spree of housing construction approved since Trump’s inauguration, lest it interfere with Trump’s plans to work toward a peace plan…

Continue this story at the Washington Post

SEE ALSO: The Genealogy of Trump’s U-Turn on Palestine

READ MORE ISRAEL NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Israel Files

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