TEL AVIV – A senior adviser to Donald Trump who is rumored to be the Republican candidate’s choice for U.S. ambassador to Israel arrived in Jerusalem this week to meet with officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, the PMO said.
David Friedman, one of two Trump advisors on matters concerning Israel, was briefed by senior Israeli officials on diplomatic-security issues, the Haaretz newspaper reported.
Friedman, an American Jewish lawyer, has represented Trump for 15 years and worked with him on his AIPAC speech earlier this year. Together with Jason Greenblatt, Friedman was tapped to be Trump’s advisor on Israel affairs a few months ago.
Friedman told reporters last month that Trump would back an undivided Jerusalem, and support Israel’s annexation of parts or all of the West Bank in a final status solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He also told Haaretz that the presidential hopeful is not expected to toe the line of his predecessors by supporting the notion that the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel is “an American imperative”
“Trump’s position is that we have to deal with reality and not hopes and wishes,” Friedman said.
Meanwhile, a senior advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was sent to the U.S. this week to meet advisors to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Netanyahu is making every effort to stay neutral in the 2016 elections, telling reporters last month that he was being “very careful” to keep his distance. In 2012, Netanyahu came under heavy criticism for appearing to interfere on behalf of Mitt Romney, then challenger to President Barack Obama.
“The prime minister’s directive was clear – if we meet with one side we have to meet in parallel with the other side,” said a senior Israeli official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We track every few meetings to ensure there is no advantage to one side.”
Friedman was also briefed by Israel’s Republicans Overseas organization on the group’s efforts in urging American-Israelis to vote for Trump.