By Gary Bauer, Director of CUFI Action Fund (US)
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, whom we proudly supported during his confirmation battle in the U.S. Senate, is making headlines again. During an interview this week, Ambassador Friedman was asked about the state of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the Trump Administration’s position in these intricate negotiations.
When asked about the status of the U.S. Embassy, Freidman said:
“I believe that in the end [President Trump] will decide to move the embassy and more importantly, he will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.”
On the two-state solution:
“I think that phrase has largely lost its meaning, or at least it has a different meaning for different people. It has been bantered about so much that I don’t think it is a helpful term. . . I’m not focusing on labels. I’m focusing on solutions.”
On the issue of settlements:
“I think that the settlements are part of Israel, and in my opinion this has always been the expectation. . . Israel would retain a significant part of the West Bank and would return the areas it did not need to maintain peace and security. And in my opinion this is exactly what Israel did, it holds only two percent of the West Bank. . .
“Clearly, important security considerations for these settlements are important in terms of national, historical, religious, and in my opinion the settlers see themselves as Israelis and Israel treats the settlers as Israelis. These are the facts.”
Speaking of settlements, Prime Minister Netanyahu had something to say about them yesterday:
“We have brought about magnificent settlement in Judea and Samaria that we are maintaining and strengthening – responsibly, wisely and persistently. . . I tell you clearly and before anything: There will be no more uprooting of communities in the Land of Israel! . . . that is not the way to make peace.
“We will uproot neither Jews nor Arabs. We did not receive peace [after Gaza]; we received terror and missiles! We will not go back to this. . . Any area that falls to radical Islam becomes a base for destruction, violence and death. Therefore, we will not abandon our national home to danger.”