New U.S. Perspectives on Israeli-Palestinian Peace

(Israel Hayom) U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman interviewed by Naama Lanski - Chief Palestinian negotiator "Saeb Erekat...asked [me] how he could talk to me when I sat with Netanyahu at the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem Day, which he called 'the worst day in our history.' I said to him, candidly, it's the best day in my history, it was the day that the Kotel [Western Wall] opened for Jewish prayer after 19 years. My parents cried when they heard that Jerusalem had been reunified and immediately made plans for my bar mitzvah at the Kotel, which we celebrated a few years later." "I told Erekat that our narratives are very different. I'll never try to convince you that your pain is not heartfelt, and I hope that you'll never try to convince me that our pain and our wishes are not heartfelt. That's not what this is about. It's not about convincing each other who is right and who is wrong. We have to respect our different views....We have to put these overarching emotional issues aside and find a way for Palestinians to have a better life, to achieve their ideals, in a way that doesn't threaten Israel." "I have no interest or tolerance to hear that the Jewish people don't have a connection to Jerusalem. It's a waste of time. Don't waste my time telling me something that I fundamentally reject." "Over the last eight years...there was an equivalence created between settlements and terrorism. Settlements are an's a fair point for discussion. But that's all it is - a point for discussion. Terrorism, meanwhile, is murder. And you can't say that one side should stop terror in exchange for the other side freezing settlements. There's no equivalence there." "A lot of academics will look at how Israel treats the Palestinians without recognizing...the security risks and the terrorism that led to this point....Here you have a conflict that has lasted for several generations and led to unspeakable acts of barbarism against innocent Jewish civilians. So in the context of that conflict, you get to a place where you impose a security apparatus that at least temporarily keeps people safe." "There's this...disconnect that holds Israel to an impossible standard. They expect Israel to accept incoming missiles without defending itself when every other nation in the world, including the United States, would do so....It doesn't mean that people can't criticize Israel. But that's different than expecting Israel to act differently than any other nation - that's where it becomes irrational and hateful."

2017-09-26 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive