Peres: Trump’s foreign policy vision a ‘mistake’

August 1, 2016  

Former Israeli president Shimon Peres appeared to criticize Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying that carrying out his isolationist foreign policy vision would be “a very great mistake.”

In an interview with Bloomberg quoted by JTA, Peres did not refer to the Republican presidential nominee by name.

But when asked about Trump’s statements on foreign policy, he replied, “To suggest that America will disconnect her relations with NATO, that America will leave the whole field open to other countries — in my judgment it’s a mistake. A very great mistake.”

The comments appear to be a response to ones made by Trump in an interview with The New York Times last month.

In that interview Trump said that U.S. military support for NATO member states might be conditional on whether those members’ fulfill their obligations to the bloc.

Peres was also asked by Bloomberg about the Palestinian Authority’s threats to sue Britain over the 1917 Balfour Declaration. In reply, the former president compared the move to refighting the Crusades, the medieval battles for control of the Holy Land.

“The past is dead,” he said. “The future is the agenda.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week said the Palestinians will fail if they go through with their bid to sue Britain over the Balfour Declaration.

“Of course they will fail” if they file the lawsuit, Netanyahu said at a memorial ceremony marking 112 years since the death of Theodor Herzl.

“After almost 4,000 years of Jewish history, almost 100 years after the Balfour Declaration and 68 years since the founding of the State of Israel, there are still those who deny our connection to this land. It is very clear that the root of the conflict is the fact that they refuse to recognize a Jewish home with any borders,” added Netanyahu.

Foreign Ministry Director-General Dr. Dore Gold criticized the move as well, saying it demonstrates yet again the continuing refusal of the Palestinian side to recognize the legitimate and indigenous connection of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland.

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