The Palestinians’ response to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem has been “ugly, needlessly provocative and anti-Semitic,” Ambassador Friedman said.
By: United with Israel Staff
The Palestinians’ response to President Donald Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been “ugly, needlessly provocative and anti-Semitic,” US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told The Jerusalem Post last week.
The Palestinians announced that the US is no longer player in the peace process, have equated trump with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, have called him “an irrelevant clown” and Mahmoud Abbas’ senior advisor said that Trump’s words were worth less than the urine of a boy in Jerusalem.
Friedman described the Palestinian reaction as “largely emotional,” saying they “unfortunately overreacted” because Trump made clear that the US was “not taking a position on any final-status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.”
While the Palestinians have rejected any US role in the peace process, Friedman said there will be no process without US involvement.
“There is no path around the United States,” he told the Post. He said Israel has made it clear that it will not engage in any such process under the sponsorship of any other nation. “You cannot clap with one hand,” said Friedman. “Moreover, only the United States has the regional credibility to bring forward a historic peace agreement.”
Trump’s moves on Jerusalem, the partial shutdown of the PLO mission in Washington, and the Taylor Force Act that will cut US funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) because it pays wages to the families of terrorists, reflects the will of the American people as reflected in US laws, Friedman noted.
“We are a nation of laws – and those laws exist to reflect important government policies,” he said. “There is absolutely no reason why the Palestinians cannot comply with these laws and, if they do, the peace process will be greatly advanced.”
Trump, Friedman said, will go down in history “as one of Israel’s greatest friends,” and “we must all recognize and applaud the courage and moral clarity displayed by the president in affirming, against the wishes of so many other nations, the centrality of Jerusalem to Israel and the Jewish people.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made similar comments earlier this month, saying that by recognizing Jerusalem Trump “has inscribed himself in the annals of our capital for all time.”
“We were all moved to hear President Trump’s historic statement, the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and this statement is – of course – based on ancient right,” Netanyahu stated on Thursday while addressing a Foreign Ministry conference on digital diplomacy.
“The Jewish people determined Jerusalem to be its capital 3,000 years ago. Here our forefathers walked. Here our kings ruled. Here our prophets preached. Here are our roots,” Netanyahu stated. “This is, in effect, our identity card.”
Through his announcement, “[Trump’s] name will now be linked to the names of others in the context of the glorious history of Jerusalem and our people,” Netanyahu said.