Video: The U.S. Peace Plan - A Changing Diplomatic Paradigm for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Amb. David Friedman - U.S. Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman spoke at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on Sunday: U.S. Undersecretary of Homeland Security David Glawe spoke at the most recent 9/11 memorial in Jerusalem and said, "Israel keeps America safe." That's very true. It's hard to really go into detail or to advertise it, but it's true. For generations, the American support for Israel very much came from the heart and it still does. It comes from the hearts of millions and millions of Americans. But over the last five to ten years I would say it also comes from the head. We are without question better off when Israel is strong, secure, stable, and prosperous, so it is very much an American interest to support Israel. When we came into office, we couldn't help but notice that 52 years after the Six-Day War, many of the issues were still out there. So we tackled them one by one. Jerusalem was perhaps the easiest because there'd been a law in the books for the past 25 years that compelled the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. With regard to the Golan Heights, given the enormous threats that Syria represented, if you look into the competing claims of the democratic State of Israel, an important American ally, and the brutal regime of Bashar Assad, it didn't seem like a close call in terms of the competing rights. The media would say, "Well, the whole world recognizes that settlements are illegal, they violate international law." I was skeptical about that proposition. I thought it really would matter what the United States said as a body, as the State Department, the representative of American foreign policy. After a very thorough analysis, Secretary of State Pompeo concluded that settlements were not in violation of international law. The Palestinians in 52 years have done nothing to create any type of a political movement that provides Israel with any sense of certainty or calm or assurances that the Palestinians won't be a threat to Israel if they were to achieve statehood. So the question is: Is it possible to design a resolution to the Palestinian conflict that protects Israel's security first and foremost? Who's going to provide security if there's a future Palestinian state? Choice number one, which had been advocated by many of our predecessors, was an international force. But we see what happened in Lebanon. International forces don't work. The second choice is that that American troops will somehow take responsibility for the security of this new Palestinian state. The simple answer is that the U.S. is not prepared to do that. The longer answer is that Israel doesn't want it either because I think the best way to jeopardize the relationship of the United States and Israel is to have American soldiers dying on Israeli soil. The third choice is that the Palestinians could take care of their own internal and external security. I think even they don't believe that they can. So if you eliminate all those choices, you are left with one choice, which is that the State of Israel will defend this region. They are by far the best equipped to do it, the best incentivized to do it, and security is simply not a game. It's real. It's life and death.

2020-02-10 00:00:00

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