New US Ambassador to Israel is a strong supporter of settlements

December 16, 2016 /

Compounding yesterday’s news that the US-Israeli alliance is going from strength-to-strength, President-elect Trump has announced that he will appoint Daniel Friedman, a supporter of settlements and an opponent of the two-state solution as U.S Ambassador to Israel.

Trump said in a statement yesterday:

“(Friedman) has been a long-time friend and trusted advisor to me. His strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country as we strengthen the ties with our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East,”[1]

Friedman is a strong supporter of Israeli settlements and has spoken about the annexation of the occupied West Bank and a one-state solution[2]. Appointing a US Ambassador that has such strong positions on two of the most contentious issues is the polar-opposite of Donald Trump’s claim of “striving for peace.” Supporters of a two-state solution have named this nomination of Friedman as outright reckless and severely damaging to the US’s reputation in the region[3].

Israel has been trying to claim Jerusalem as its capital since its beginning. However, the international community has never accepted it. The new Ambassador Friedman has already stated that he looks forward to taking up his position in Jerusalem,[4]suggesting he is confident of the move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The appointment of the new Ambassador and a potential move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem would be a belligerent move and breaches any remaining notions of peace or a two-state solution. In addition it blindly ignores the ongoing oppression of Palestinians and their lives under Israeli occupation.

 

 

[1] http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-israel-idUSKBN1450XL

[2] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/16/donald-trumps-pick-us-ambassador-israel-says-work-jerusalem/

[3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/16/donald-trumps-pick-us-ambassador-israel-says-work-jerusalem/

[4] https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20161216-trump-names-pro-settlement-attorney-as-israel-ambassador/

16th December 2016