U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman gave some strong statements in an interview with Israel Hayom this week stating that he believes the Golan Heights will be Israel’s “forever”, that it is very unlikely any future US government will reverse Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem and his moving of the US embassy there. And explains the reasoning behind US defunding of UNRWA.

On the Golan Heights:

“I can’t imagine a circumstance where the Golan Heights will be returned to Syria. I cannot imagine, frankly, a circumstance where the Golan Heights is not a part of Israel forever. There’s not even an indigenous population in the Golan Heights seeking autonomy.”

“So I think you’d put Israel at a great security disadvantage by giving up the high ground of the Golan Heights,” he continued. “Needless to say, I can’t think of a less deserving person to receive this kind of reward than Bashar Assad. So there are a whole host of reasons why I would expect the status quo to remain.”

Friedman said that the Trump administration may consider official recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory in the future. However, in previous weeks President Trump’s National Security Advisory, John Bolton, stated that this was not something being discussed at this time, saying, “it’s simply not on the list of things that are happening right now.”

On the idea that a future US government would reverse Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, Friedman said:

“I really can’t see that happening, no matter what party is in control.”

“In order for an administration to reverse this, they would have to conclude that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel and Tel Aviv is. I think that would be a far more controversial thing to do than what the president did. It would be completely at odds with reality and I don’t believe that there is any American politician of any party—of no party—who would take a position that is completely contrary to reality. So I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Talking about the US decision to defund UNRWA, Friedman said:

“UNRWA is a critically flawed organization… It doesn’t advance regional peace and actually perpetuates the conditions that make peace even harder to achieve. As such, the U.S. doesn’t see how any additional investment in the agency will yield a worthy return for the American taxpayers.”