US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

We must show our support and appreciation for Ambassador Friedman’s courageous statement recognizing Israel’s right to its ancient homeland, reflective of US policy.

In the latest groundbreaking statement by a Trump administration official regarding Israel, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman acknowledged, in an interview with The New York Times, that Israel has a right to its ancient land in Judea and Samaria.

In the interview, the ambassador was asked about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to impose Israeli civilian law over the territory, which was captured by the Jewish State in the 1967 Six-Day War. “ Under certain circumstances,” Friedman said, “I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria].”

“The absolute last thing the world needs is a failed Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan,” the American envoy noted, apparently referring to the security situation.

Friedman’s statement that “Israel has the right to retain some” of Judea and Samaria is viewed as the furthest-reaching public assertion by a U.S.official in the 52 years since the Six Day War, which followed the amassing of forces by Arabs states surrounding and greatly outnumbering the Israeli military, but resulting in a massive, miraculous Israeli victory.

The territory liberated by the Jewish State during that war included the holiest places to the Jewish people: the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest shrine; the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron; Rachel’s Tomb in the Bethlehem area; the pre-Temple sanctuary in Shiloh; and, Nablus, a city at the center of the narrative of Joseph and his brothers, the tribes from which the Jewish people were born as a nation, among other Biblical sites.

Despite the Jewish connection to the land, previous U.S. administrations have refused to recognize Israel’s historic rights there and insisted that the Jewish State negotiate with the Palestinian Arabs over the future status of Judea and Samaria.

Predictably, there were angry Arab reactions to Friedman’s statement. The Palestinian Authority foreign minister called for sanctions on Israel if it starts to annex parts of Judea and Samaria.

However, the Israeli position is empowered by the current U.S. president who has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Golan Heights as under Israeli sovereignty, and now, albeit with a more cautious statement, an ambassador to Israel who speaks of Jewish rights to Judea and Samaria.

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