U.S. Ambassador to Israel: 60% of My Time Is Helping Palestinians

Tom Nides, the US Ambassador to Israel, speaks to the Foreign Press Association at the Kin

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides said he spends the majority of his time helping Palestinians, an unusual remark from a diplomat purporting to serve as the U.S. envoy to Israel.

He also made several comments relating to Israel’s domestic policies, including telling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “pump the brakes” on the government’s proposal to reform the judiciary and calling on Israel’s new Arab allies to condemn the Jewish state over its recent decision to legalize nine Jewish so-called outposts in the West Bank.

“I spend 60% of my time trying to help the Palestinian people,” Nides told podcast host David Axelrod, a former senior advisor to Barack Obama.

He drew a moral equivalency between Palestinian terrorism and the IDF’s counter-terror operations, and made no differentiation between the accidental death of a Palestinian civilian during an anti-terror raid with dozens of Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists, and the intentional murder of Jewish Israelis in any one of the five terror attacks to take place in Jerusalem in the past three weeks.

“Every action creates a reaction,” Nides said during the interview on the Axe Files podcast, which is affiliated with CNN.


File/Thomas Nides, nominated as U.S. ambassador to Israel, testifes before Congress in 2012 when he was deputy secretary of state for management and resources (AFP)

“The IDF soldiers come in [to a Palestinian-controlled area] and they’re under attack, they kill an innocent Palestinian. Terrible. The Palestinians react to that, and they create another act. It’s just how these things unravel. It’s tragic.”

He said that expanding Jewish communities in the West Bank is a “vexing” issue for the U.S. and called on Abraham Accords countries to take a stand.

“It has been [a vexing issue] for the Arab countries as well who tend not to speak up as much as they should vis-à-vis some of the actions that are going on in the West Bank,” Nides said.

Nides mentioned Biden administration’s decision to restore funding to the Palestinians, amounting to some $1 billion so far, which had been cut by former President Donald Trump over the PA’s pay-for-slay program paying monthly stipends to convicted terrorists and their families. Since Biden restored aid, Israeli deaths resulting from terror attacks have increased by 900%.

In terms of the Netanyahu government’s plans to reform the judiciary, he said that while the U.S. wouldn’t “dictate” to Israel what to do, he had instructed the Israeli leader, as he would his own children, to put the brakes on.

“We’re telling the prime minister — as I tell my kids — ‘pump the brakes, slow down, try to get a consensus, bring the parties together,’” he said.

He also slammed National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount, saying he was “stirring up trouble” by visiting the flashpoint site, which is Judaism’s holiest.

When Israeli government ministers “do provocative acts,” Nides said, “it lights up the Middle East.”

The U.S..’ response was accordingly “very aggressive,” he said.

“This is the kind of nonsense that lights things on fire,” he concluded.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.