The U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said he was “addicted and intoxicated ” with what the Trump administration achieved for Israel in four years, and expressed his confidence the measures couldn’t be reversed by the Biden administration.
“I’m frankly somewhere between addicted and intoxicated with what I’ve been able to do, and how much joy it gives me,” he told The New York Times in an article published Monday. “We’ve changed the narrative dramatically.”
“There’s no going back on what we’ve been able to do,” said Friedman.
The U.S. under Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved its embassy there, recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and declared the settlements as not illegal under international law.
It also cut millions in aid to the Palestinian Authority over its so-called pay-for-slay scheme.
Speaking to a group of Israel lawmakers Monday, Friedman said doomsday predictions that the U.S. decision to move the embassy would result in violence not only failed to become realized, the opposite came true.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday celebrated the signing of the “Abraham Accords,” a peace deal between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates brokered by the United States. https://t.co/kim5DSQiPs
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 15, 2020
“Everyone feared that the recognition of Jerusalem would lead to an explosion, but it turned out to be an explosion of peace and not of violence,” Friedman said at an event held for his departure by the Knesset Subcommittee for Policy and Strategy.
“The past three and a half years flew by like a flash, a testament to how exciting, riveting and enjoyable the job was,” he said.
The U.S. also brokered normalization deals between Israel and four Arab countries, the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.
Speaking to the Times, Freidman said the Trump administration “injected a tremendously needed dose of realism into the Palestinian psyche about what’s achievable and what’s not.”
Friedman said the Trump peace plan, by requiring financial transparency, human rights and other norms for the Palestinians to gain statehood, was actually “a gift to the Palestinian people” that would make their “quality of life far more bearable.”
Friedman admitted President-elect Biden would likely return to a “more internationally accepted view” of settlements as illegal and feared that some Trump policies were opposed solely on the basis that they were Trump’s.
Top Saudi Diplomat to Israeli Paper: ‘Age of War with Israel’ Is Over https://t.co/XkHC0z2zrf
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) June 23, 2019
Trump’s peace plan, which was rejected by the Palestinians sight unseen, had “the advantage of being a realistic two-state solution that is endorsed generally by the Israeli public. Why would you throw that out?”
He went on: “A flood of refugees into Israel? Never going to happen. Dividing Jerusalem? It’s just never going to happen. Israel giving up certain parts of its biblical heartland? Never going to happen.”