(September 17, 2020 / Israel Hayom) U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said on Wednesday that recent regional developments, and especially the peace treaties between Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, mark the beginning of the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Speaking aboard the Israeli delegation’s return flight from Washington, D.C., where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain signed the normalization accords on Tuesday, Friedman said that many more countries would soon follow suit and normalize relations with the Jewish state.
“We broke the ice and made peace with two important countries in the region,” he said, noting that more diplomatic breakthroughs are sure to follow. “When the dust settles, within months or a year, the Israeli-Arab conflict will be over.”
As for the impact of the developments on the Palestinians, Friedman said the Palestinian people are not being served by their leadership.
“I believe the people in Judea and Samaria want a better life,” he said, adding that the Palestinian people need to understand that it is possible for them to attain such a goal. Their leadership, however, is still clutching to old and irrelevant complaints, he added. “They need to join the 21st century. They are on the wrong side of history at the moment.”
On the matter of Israel’s now-paused sovereignty initiative in the Judea and Samaria, Friedman said, “I think it will happen.”
While the United States believes that the initiative was the right move, he said, “peace is a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
Friedman said he thinks the sovereignty issue can be revisited in a less controversial manner at a later date after the peace initiative has been advanced and capitalized on fully.
“It’s a temporary suspension,” he said.
He noted that the current administration was the first to stipulate the legality of the settlements according to international law and the only administration to unveil a peace plan that rejects the removal of Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria.
Asked what he would like to tell the citizens of Israel on the eve of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, Friedman wished for the pandemic to pass quickly for all of humanity’s sake, and for all “to have a good and sweet year.”
This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in Israel Hayom.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.