U.S. Envoy to Israel: ‘Addicted and Intoxicated’ with Trump’s Achievements Here

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left and David Friedman, right, the new United States Ambassador to Israel attend a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem, in front of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, Sunday, May 21, 2017. Israel captured the Old …
Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP

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.

“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.

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.”


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