White House

What Trump has said about Israel over time

President Donald Trump will stop in Israel and meet with the country's leaders during his first foreign trip as president this week.

Here's a look at how Trump's views have evolved or remained steadfast throughout the years:

Nov. 24, 2013

Donald Trump, prior to running for office, called former President Barack Obama a “total disaster” for Israel in a tweet.

“I do not understand how so many of my Jewish friends backed Obama in the last election,” Trump said. “He is a total disaster for Israel — and always will be.”

Dec. 3, 2015

In an interview with the Associated Press, Trump asserted that Israel bears the responsibility of peace in the Middle East. 

“I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to make it,” Trump said of peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

“A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal — whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things,” Trump said. “They may not be, and I understand that, and I’m OK with that. But then you’re just not going to have a deal.”

TRUMP: ISRAELIS, PALESTINIANS MUST WORK TOGETHER ON PEACE DEAL

Later that day, Trump received boos from the crowd gathered at a Republican Jewish Coalition event as he refused to answer if he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“You know what I want to do? I want to wait till I meet with Bibi,” Trump said, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Just relax, OK? You’ll like me very much, believe me,” Trump said in response to the angered booing from the crowd.

Dec. 10, 2015

Trump nixed his planned trip to Israel as a presidential candidate shortly after Netanyahu condemned his comments regarding Muslims.

“I have decided to postpone my trip to Israel and to schedule my meeting with [Netanyahu] at a later date after I become President of the U.S.,” Trump tweeted.

Trump told Fox News that he didn’t want to put Netanyahu “under pressure” with the meeting.

“I think the worst thing that ever happened to Israel happened to be Barack Obama,” Trump added.

ISRAEL LAUDS US SECURITY TIES FOLLOWING TRUMP DISCLOSURES

March 21, 2016

Trump promised to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during an address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem,” Trump said, according to a transcript of the event. “And we will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally, the state of Israel.”

May 3, 2016

Trump encouraged Israel to “keep moving forward” on Jewish construction in the West Bank during an interview with the Daily Mail.

“They really have to keep going. They have to keep moving forward,” Trump said.

The Obama administration pressured Israel into pausing its settlement construction in an effort to negotiate peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. Trump told the Daily Mail that brokering peace between the two sides would be the “all-time negotiation.”

“I would love to see if peace could be negotiated,” Trump said. “A lot of people say that’s not a deal that’s possible. But I mean, lasting peace, not a peace that lasts for two weeks and they start launching missiles again. So we’ll see what happens.”

July 13, 2016

Trump questioned if Obama is “trying to destroy Israel” in a tweet.

“Is President Obama trying to destroy Israel with all his bad moves? Think about it and let me know!” Trump tweeted.

Feb. 2, 2017

The Trump administration buckled down and called for a moratorium on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.

TOP TRUMP AIDE WON'T SAY IF WESTERN WALL IS PART OF ISRAEL

In a statement, the White House maintained that Trump “has not taken an official position on settlement activity.”

“While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is 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,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

Feb. 3, 2017

During a joint press conference with Netanyahu, Trump slammed the United Nations for treating Israel “very unfairly.”

Trump’s comments came on the heels of a UN resolution that condemned Israeli settlements.

“As far as settlements, I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit. We’ll work something out,” Trump said. “But I would like to see a deal be made. I think a deal will be made.”

ISRAEL DEMANDS EXPLANATION FROM WHITE HOUSE AFTER SPAT OVER TRUMP TRIP

“Bibi and I have known each other a long time — a smart man, great negotiator,” Trump said. “And I think we’re going to make a deal. It might be a bigger and better deal than people in this room even understand.”

Trump also reiterated his support for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

May 3, 2017

Trump promised that he is "committed" to working toward a peace deal during a joint briefing with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. 

"The Palestinians and Israelis must work together to reach an agreement that allows both peoples to live, worship and thrive and prosper in peace," Trump said. "I will do whatever is necessary to facilitate the agreement, to mediate, to arbitrate anything they'd like to do." 

May 15, 2017

The White House walked back comments reportedly made by a senior U.S. official who declared a holy site to be part of the West Bank and not Israeli territory.

The American official reportedly snapped at Israeli diplomats who were asking questions regarding Trump’s upcoming trip to the Western Wall, including inquiring about the presence of Netanyahu and cameras, according to the Times of Israel.

“It’s none of your business. It’s not even part of your responsibility. It’s not your territory. It’s part of the West Bank,’” the official reportedly said.

In a statement, the White House said the comments were “not authorized communication” and do not represent “the position of the United States” or Trump.