In comments on Thursday, President Trump claimed to have made “great progress” on the matter of Israel-Palestinian peace. He also revealed that his recent cuts to aid to the Palestinians were done to pressure them into joining the negotiations.
“I told them, we’re not paying you until we make a deal. If we don’t make a deal, we’re not paying,” Trump said. The comments were made during a conference call with US Jewish leaders.
Though President Trump expressed confidence in his ability to make a deal, the Palestinians gave up on the US-brokered process with President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Though Trump has recent promised the Palestinians would get “something good” too, since then all his announcements have been further aid cuts.
Trump’s cuts have generally been supported by the Israeli government, and the cuts to UN aid came after Prime Minister Netanyahu informed Trump he wanted such a cut. In addition to Trump, Jared Kushner and David Friedman were on the conference call, both emphasizing Trump’s pro-Israel policies to a group of rabbis and other figures who were hand-picked as being seen likely to support Trump’s policies.