Herzog: We Hope President Trump Succeeds in Pushing for Talks

Zionist Camp leader Yitzchak Herzog. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM - On a visit to Maale Adumim Thursday, opposition head and Zionist Camp chairman Yitzchak Herzog declared that no matter what peace plan — if any — is developed over the coming months, that community would always remain a part of Israel. Herzog led a delegation of Zionist Camp MKs to the city, days before the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump, who many political observers believe will push for renewed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Accompanying Herzog on the visit was MK Tzippy Livni, who said that “Maale Adumim is part of the settlement blocs that will remain under Israeli control and be a part of the state of Israel,” with Herzog adding that his party was “prepared for a political settlement based on the concept of the settlement blocs remaining under Israeli control, with territory swaps.”

Commenting on the upcoming visit of President Trump, Herzog said: “We believe in separation from the Palestinians, and we believe there is a great opportunity in the upcoming visit of President Trump. We wish him the greatest success on his trip here and that it will bring about a breakthrough that will enable us and the Palestinians to advance towards a final-status solution of the conflict that will enable the two nations to live side by side in peace.”

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak said that President Trump’s visit was an opportunity to end the conflict once and for all — one way or another. Speaking to Army Radio, Barak said that Israel must make “all efforts” to come to an agreement with the Palestinians, but that “it may not be possible to negotiate such a settlement.” In that case, he said, Israel should consider unilateral moves. “The first steps towards a solution are not dependent on the other side.”

“If the American effort fails, we should consider a unilateral solution,” said Barak, which would entail Israel abandoning large parts of Yehudah and Shomron, building a security fence around the settlement blocs, and withdrawing the IDF and removing residents of “isolated” settlements, such as those in the Binyamin region. The plan could see some 80,000 Israelis outside of Israeli-controlled areas.