(JNS.org) U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman reportedly urged Israeli officials to cooperate with President Donald Trump’s peace push. At the same time, the envoy advised the president that chances of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal “are slim.”
Friedman has held a number of conversations with Israeli diplomats and senior officials in recent weeks, during which “he repeatedly stressed that given Trump’s strong desire to make the ‘ultimate deal’ on the peace process, Israel must cooperate with his diplomatic initiative and help it succeed,” Haaretz reported.
The U.S. ambassador advised against “getting into confrontations” with Trump, and asked the Israelis to help Trump implement his Mideast policies, according to the report.
Friedman, whose ambassadorship was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March, will present his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Monday.
Haaretz also reported that Friedman and other Trump administration officials have advised the president that prospects for a peace deal “are slim” if not impossible, yet “so far [Trump] hasn’t changed his mind” about being involved in the peace process.
The Israeli government’s current stance on the renewal of direct negotiations with the Palestinians is unclear. Some Israeli officials have warned that a failure of negotiations could lead to an uptick in Palestinian violence and terrorism.
At an event in Washington, D.C., Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked cautioned against Trump’s enthusiasm for peace talks, calling the president’s attitude “ill-fated,” the Times of Israel reported.
“We need also to remember that every time that there was a peace process and it failed, after that there was a terror wave,” she said. “If you ask me, I think that if the president is talking about a deal, the economic deal can be much better.”
Trump is scheduled to visit Israel May 22-23.