tv President Trump Says He Can Live with One- State or Two- State Solution CSPAN February 16, 2017 12:00am-12:28am EST
trump urged israeli minister benjamin netanyahu to hold off on new settlement construction. the leaders talked about iran nuclear deal and a path to a two-state solution in the east. president president trump also spoke about the resignation of national security adviser michael flynn at this news conference. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and the prime minister of israel.
president trump: thank you very much. thank you. today i have the honor of welcoming my friend, prime minister benjamin netanyahu, to the white house. with his visit, the united states again reaffirms our unbreakable bond with our cherished ally, israel. the partnership between our two countries built on our shared values has advanced the cause of human freedom, dignity and peace. these are the building blocks of democracy. the state of israel is a symbol to the world of resilience in the face of oppression. i can think of no other state that's gone through what they
have gone. and of survival in the face of genocide. we will never forget what the jewish people have endured. your perseverance in the face of hostility, your open democracy in the face of violence, and your success in the face of tall odds is truly inspirational. the security challenges faced by israel are enormous. including the threat of iran's nuclear ambitions, which i've talked a lot about. one of the worst deals i've ever seen is the iran deal. my administration has already imposed new sanctions on iran and i will do more to prevent iran from ever developing, and i mean ever, a nuclear weapon. our security assistance to israel is currently at an
all-time high, ensuring israel has the ability to defend itself from threats of which there are unfortunately, many. both of our countries will continue and grow. we'll have a long history of cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the fight against those who do not value human life. america and israel are two nations that cherish the value of all human life. this is one more reason why i reject unfair and one-sided actions against israel at the united nations. just treated israel, in my opinion, very, very unfairly. or other international forums as well as boycotts that target israel. our administration is committed to working with israel and our common allies in the region
towards greater security and stability. that includes working toward a peace agreement between israel and the palestinians. the united states will encourage a peace and really a great peace deal. we'll be working on it very, very diligently. very important to me also. something we want to do. but it is the parties themselves who must directly negotiate such an agreement. we'll be beside them, we'll be working with them. as with any successful negotiation, both sides will have to make compromises. you know that, right? [laughter] president trump: i want the israeli people to know that the united states stands with israel in the struggle against terrorism.
as you know, mr. prime minister, our two nations will always condemn terrorist acts. peace requires nations to uphold the dignity of human life and to be a voice for all of those who are endangered and forgotten. those are the ideals to which we all and will always aspire and commit. this will be the first of many productive the meetings. and i again, mr. prime minister, thank you very much for being with us today. mr. prime minister. thank you. pm netanyahu: president trump, thank you for the truly warm hospitality. you and melania have shown me and my wife sarah, our entire delegation.
i deeply value your friendship. to me, to the state of israel, it was so clearly evident in the words you just spoke. israel has no better ally than the united states and i want to assure you, the united states has no better ally than israel. our alliance has been remarkably strong. but under your leadership i'm confident it will get even stronger. i look forward to working with you to dramatically upgrade our alliance in every field. in security, technology, cyber, trade, and so many others. and i certainly welcome your forthright call to ensure that israel is treated fairly at international forums and that the slander and boycotts of
israel are resisted mightily by the power and moral position of the united states of america. as you have said, our alliance is based on a deep bond of common values and common interests. and increasingly, those values and interests are under attack by one malevolent force, radical islamic terror. mr. president, you have shown great clarity and courage in confronting this challenge head on. you call for confronting iran's terrorist regime, preventing iran from realizing this terrible deal into a nuclear arsenal. and you have said that the united states is committed to preventing iran from getting nuclear weapons. you call for the defeat of isis. under your leadership i believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical islam.
and in this great task, as with so many others, israel stands with you and i stand with you. mr. president, in rolling back militant islam, we can seize an historic opportunity because for the first time in my lifetime and for the first time in the life of my country, arab countries in the region do not see israel as an enemy, but increasingly as an ally. and i believe that under your leadership, this change in our region creates an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen security and advance peace. let us seize this moment together. let us bolster security, let us seek new avenues of peace and let us bring the remarkable alliance between israel and the
united states to even greater heights. thank you, thank you, mr. president. president trump: thank you, again, thank you. we will take a couple of questions. david brodie. christian broadcasting. david. >> thank you, mr. president. mr. prime minister. both of you have criticized the iran nuclear deal and at times even called for its repeal. i wonder if you're concerned at all as it relates to not just the national security advisor michael flynn, who is recently no longer here, but some of those events going on with communication in russia, if that is going to hamper this deal it all and if it would keep iran from becoming a nuclear state? and secondly on the settlement issue, are you both on the same page? how do term that, with regards to the settlement issue? thank you.
pm netanyahu: -- president trump: michael flynn, general flynn is a wonderful man. i think he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media, as i call it the fake media in many cases. and i think it's really a sad thing that he was treated so badly. i think in addition to that, from intelligence, papers are being leaked. things are being leaked. it is a criminal action, a criminal act, and it has been going on a long time, before me. now it is really going on. and people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the democrats had under hillary clinton. i think it's very, very unfair what's happened to general flynn, the way he was treated and the documents and papers that were illegally, i stress that, illegally leaked. very, very unfair. as far as settlements i would like to see you hold back on settlements a little bit.
we'll work something out but i would like to see a deal be made. i think a deal will be made. i know that every president would like to, most of not started until late because they never thought it was possible. it was impossible because they did not do it. but bibi and i have known each other for a long time, great man, great negotiator. we will make a great deal, bigger and better than most people in this room understand. that is a possibility, so let's see that we do. pm netanyahu: we will try. president trump: doesn't sound too optimistic, but a good negotiator. [laughter] pm netanyahu: that is the art of the deal. president trump: i also want to thank sarah, could you please stand up. you have been so lovely and so nice to melania and i appreciate it very much. [applause] president trump: thank you. your turn.
pm netanyahu: please, go ahead. >> thank you very much. mr. president, in your vision for the new middle east peace are you ready to give up the notion of the two-state solution adopted by the previous administration? and will you be willing to hear different ideas from the prime minister, that his partners are asking to do? for example, the west bank, and unrestricted constructions? one more question, are you going to fulfill your promise to move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem, and if so, when? and mr. prime minister, did you come here tonight to tell the president that you're backing off the two-state solution? thank you. president trump: i am looking at two-state and one-state, and i like the one that both parties like. i am very happy with the one both parties like. i can live with either one. i thought for a while the
two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two. but honestly, if bibi and the palestinians, if israel and the palestinians are happy, i am happy with the one they like the best good as far as the embassy moving to jerusalem, i would love to see that happen. we are looking at it with great care, great care, believe me. and we will see what happens, ok. >> thank you. i read yesterday that an american official said that if you asked five people what two-states would look like, you would get eight different answers. if you asked five israelis you would get 12 different answers, but rather than deal with labels i want to deal with substance. it's something i have hoped to do for years in a world that's
absolutely fixated on labels and not on substance. so here is the substance. there are two prerequisites for peace that i laid out several years ago and they haven't changed. first, the palestinians must recognize that jewish state. they have to stop calling for israel's destruction, they have to stop educating their people for israel's destruction. second, for any peace agreement israel must retain the overwriting security patrol over the west of the jordan river. don't, we know what will happen. we will get another radical islamic state and the palestinian area exploded the peace in the middle east. unfortunately, the palestinians vehemently reject both prerequisites for peace. first they continue to call for israel's destruction inside their schools, inside their mosques, inside their textbooks. you have to read it to believe
it. they even deny, mr. president, our historical connection to our homeland. you have to ask yourselves, why are jews called jews? the chinese are called chinese because they come from china. the japanese are called japanese because they come from japan. jews are called jews because they come from judeah. this is our ancestral homelands. jews are not foreign colonialists in judea. unfortunately, the palestinians not only deny the past, they also poison the present. they name public squares in honor of mass murders who murdered israelis and i have to say also murdered americans. they pay monthly salaries to the families of murderers like the family of the terrorist who killed taylor force, a wonderful young american, a west point graduate who was stabbed to death while visiting israel.
so this is the source of the conflict, the persistent palestinian refusal to recognize the jewish state and any boundary. that is the reason we do not have peace. now that has to change. i want it to change. not only have i not abandoned these two prerequisites of peace, they have become even more important because of the rising tide of a fanaticism that has swept the middle east and unfortunately infected palestinian society. so i want this to change. i want those two prerequisites of peace, substance, not labels, i want them reinstated. but if anyone believes that i is -- i as prime minister of israel, responsible for the security of my country, would blindly walk into a palestinian terrorist state that seeks the destruction of my country, their gravely mistaken. the two prerequisites of peace, recognition of the jewish state and israel's security needs west of the jordan, they remain
pertinent. we have to look for new ways, new ideas, on how to reinstate them and move peace forward. i believe that the great opportunity for peace comes from a regional approach from involving our newfound arab partners in the pursuit of a broader peace and peace with the palestinians. and i greatly look forward to discussing this in detail with you, mr. president, because i think if we work together, we have a shot. president trump: and we have been discussing that. and it is something that is very different, has not been discussed before. and it is a much bigger deal, much more important deal, in a sense. it would take in many, many countries and it would cover a very large territory. so i didn't know you were going
to be mentioning that but now that you did i think it's a terrific thing. and i think we have some pretty good cooperation that people in the past would never, never have even thought about doing this. so we'll see how that works out, ok? katie from town hall. where is katie, right there. >> thank you, mr. president. you said earlier in your marks both sides would have to make compromises when it comes to a peace deal. you mentioned a halt on settlements. can you lay out specific compromises both for the israelis and palestinians? and mr. prime minister, what expectations do you have from the administration of how to amend the iran nuclear agreement or how to dismantle it altogether, and how to overall work with the new administration to combat iran's increased aggression, not just in the last couple months, but the last couple of years as well? president trump: it is an interesting question. i think that the israelis will
have to show some flexibility, which is hard. it is hard to do. they're going to have to show the fact that they really want to make a deal. i think our new concept we've been discussing actually for a while is something that allows them to show more flexibility than they have in the past because you have a lot bigger canvas to play with. and i think they would like to do that. they would very much like to make a deal or i would not be happy and i would not be here and i would not be as optimistic as i am. i can tell you from the standpoint of bibi and of israel, they really want to make a deal and would like to see the big deal. i think the palestinians have to get rid of some of the hate that they are taught from a very young age. they're taught tremendous hate. i've seen what they're taught. you can talk about flexibility there, but it starts at a very young age.
and it starts in the school room. they have to acknowledge israel. they're going to have to do that. there is no way a deal can be made if they are not ready to it knowledge of very, very great and important country. and i think they're going to be willing to do that, also. but now i also believe we're going to have, katie, other players at a very high level and i think it might make it easier on both the palestinians and israel to get something done, ok? thank you very interesting question, thank you. pm netanyahu: you asked about iran. one thing is preventing iran from getting nuclear weapons, something that president trump and i, i think are deeply committed to do. and we are obviously going to discuss that. i think beyond that, president trump has led a very important effort in the past few weeks
just coming into the presidency, he pointed out their violations, the iranian violations on ballistic missile tests. by the way, these ballistic missiles are inscribed in hebrew, israel must be destroyed. the iranian foreign minister said, our ballistic missiles are not intended against any country. no, they write on the missiles in hebrew, israel must be destroyed. so, challenging iran on its violations of ballistic missiles, imposing sanctions on hezbollah, making them pay for the terrorism that they foment a -- throughout the middle east and beyond, well beyond. i think that is a change and that is clearly evident since president trump took office. i welcome that. i think it is, let me say this very openly, i think it is long overdue. and i think that if we work together, and not just the
united states and israel, the so many others in the region who see eye to eye on the great magnitude and danger of the iranian threat, then i think we can roll back iran's aggression and danger. and that's something that's important for israel, the arab states, but i think it is vitally important for america. these guys are developing icbms and they want to get to a nuclear arsenal, not a bomb. 100 bombs. they want to have the ability to launch them everywhere on earth, including and especially, eventually, the united states. this is something that is important for all of us. i welcome the change and i intend to work with president trump very closely so that we can thwart this danger. president trump: great. we have somebody? >> mr. president, since your election campaign and even after
your victory, we have seen a sharp rise in anti-semitic incidents across the united states. and i wonder what do you say among the jewish community and in israel and around the world who believe that your administration is playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones? mr. prime minister, do you agree to what the president just said about the need for israel to restrain and stop settlement activity in the west bank? and to follow-up on my friends question, do you back off from your vision to the end of a conflict, a two-state solution? or do you still supported? thank you. president trump: i just want to say we are very honored by the victory that we had, 306 electoral college votes. we were not supposed to crack 220. you know that, right? there was no way to 221, but then they said there's no way to 270 and there's tremendous
enthusiasm out there. i will say that we are going to have peace in this country. we are going to stop crime in this country. we are going to do everything within our power to stop long-simmering racism and everything else going on, a lot of bad things have been taking place over a long period of time. i think one of the reasons i won the election is because we have a very, very divided nation, very divided. and hopefully i will be able to do something about that. it was something that was very important to me. as far as people, jewish people, so many friends. a daughter who happens to be here right now, a son-in-law, and three beautiful grandchildren. i think that you are going to
see a lot different united states of america over the next three, four or eight years. i think a lot of good things are happening. and you're going to see a lot of love. you're going to see a lot of love, ok? thank you. pm netanyahu: i believe that the israel settlements is not the core of the conflict, nor does it really drive the conflict. i think it's an issue that has to be resolved in the context of peace negotiations. and i think also we are going to speak about it, president trump and i, so we can arrive at an understanding, so we did not keep bumping into each other all the time on this issue. we're going to discuss this. on the question you said, you just came back with your question to the problem that i said, it's the label. what do they mean by two-estates? a state that does not recognize the jewish state?
a state that is open for attack against israel? what are we talking about? costa rica or another iran? so obviously it means different things. i told you what are the conditions that i believe are necessary for an agreement, it's the recognition of the jewish state, and israel's control of the area, otherwise we are just fantasizing. otherwise, we will get another failed state, another terrorist, islamic dictatorship that will not work for peace, but work to destroy us and any hope for a peaceful future for our people. so i have been very clear about those conditions and they have not changed. they have not changed. if you read what i said eight years ago, it is exactly that. and i repeated that again and again and again. if you want to deal with labels, deal with labels and i will deal with substance. and finally something i can respond to, something i know from personal experience. i've known president trump many
years. and to allude to him or to his people, his team, some of whom i've known for many years too, can i reveal jared how long we have known you? well, he was never small he was always big, always tall, but i've known the president and i've known his family and his team for a long time. and there is no greater supporter of the jewish people and the jewish state than president donald trump. i think we should put that to rest. president trump: thank you very much. very nice. i appreciate that very much. >> mr. trump, are you going to answer any questions about your associates contact with the russians during the campaign? [applause]