Attorney and best-selling author Alan Dershowitz told Army Radio on Thursday that President Donald Trump had told him that he is intent on brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and that the peace would necessitate a two-state solution.
Dershowitz said he had run into Trump on March 18 in his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, the president’s “Winter White House.”
“I was pleasantly surprised by his knowledge of the Middle East,” Dershowitz said on the Good Morning Israel show. “He mentioned all the issued that would have to be addressed in any kind of a peace agreement: Jerusalem, security on the West Bank, demilitarization, the right of return. He was anxious to convey the message that he really wanted to have a peace agreement.”
Dershowitz was asked about Trump’s statement during his press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Washington, when the president said he didn’t care if the solution was one or two states – was that still the case? Dershowitz answered, “Clearly he was talking about a two-state solution, he was not in any way suggesting, at least in his conversation with me, a one-state solution.”
Dershowitz said he had told Trump, “The time has come for the Palestinians to offer to compromise. And what I told the president, too, is that he had to put pressure on the Palestinians, that Barack Obama put pressure only on the Israelis, and that’s not gonna’ work. Both sides have to compromise. Both sides have to engage in what the Prime Minister has said are painful compromises, but it has to come from both sides.”
Dershowitz refused to confirm a report in Ha’aretz that he spoke to Netanyahu and delivered to him messages from President Trump. However, he added, “if he (Netanyahu) is listening to this interview, he will be aware of the fact that the president has said he is anxious to make a deal, and I can add that the president has said that Abbas is anxious to reach a deal.”
“I pressed the president on that, I said that Abbas has tried to persuade many Israeli [prime ministers] that he is anxious to make a deal, and that time has come for him to sit down at the negotiating table and to offer some compromises that will make a deal possible,” Dershowitz said.