US Ambassador to Israel, David M Friedman has fired back at The New York Times after the paper criticised him for saying Israel was “on the side of God” while speaking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the upcoming U.S. peace proposal.

Speaking to a group of evangelical leaders at the Aish Hatorah World Center in Jerusalem, overlooking the Western Wall plaza and the Temple Mount, Friedman said that, “apparently, there was nothing more offensive I could have said to The New York Times,” and said the paper should “spend a little less time defending terrorists and more time defending the truth.”

The Times called Friedman’s comments “the latest sign of an anything but evenhanded approach to the conflict by the Trump administration,” noting that Palestinians were “slack-jawed” at Friedman’s remarks.

Friedman defended his remarks, saying that “billions of people around the world accept the Old Testament as part of their faith.” He explained that the Old Testament chronicles the Jewish people’s initial arrival and subsequent exiles from the land of Israel.

“Most of the prophecies are about the return of the nation of Israel to their land. And it is happening in our lifetime,” Friedman said, adding that “just being in this room is evidence that the prophecy of Ezekiel and others have come true.”

“So where am I off in saying that God is on the side of Israel?” Friedman asked. “The fact that God has fulfilled his prophecies and delivered the people of Israel to their land is demonstrably true.”

The ambassador fired back at the paper, stating, “If anyone speaks to the editors of the Times, they should tell the Times to spend a little less time to defending terrorists and spend a little more time defending the truth.”