Former U.S. Ambassador David Friedman: In the Middle East, "Strength Keeps People Safe"

(JNS) Israel Kasnett - Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told the Tikvah Fund's Jewish Leadership Conference last week that at the start of his term four years ago, the world was giving the Palestinians "a pass on egregious human-rights violations, a pass on the inability of Hamas and the PA to ever coalesce on anything, a pass on terrorism, a pass on pay-to-slay, a pass on not creating any of the institutions necessary for an economy...and yet people were talking about a Palestinian state. This was putting the cart before the horse." Friedman said, "The most wrong was the indulgence of the Palestinian cause to the point where it negated the notion of accountability. There would be this equivalence between building settlements and acts of terrorism. You can be pro or against settlements, but you cannot possibly equate the two." The approach by other administrations was "leading to creating a dysfunctional terrorist state between Israel and Jordan. That was the path we inherited and we needed to reverse it quickly." "The important aspects of our plan were how to protect Israel's security and protect it from a terrorist Palestinian state. What we depart from our predecessors is we created a means for Israel to protect itself under any scenario....Our predecessors came up with all sorts of gimmicks and gadgets and sensors along the Jordan River and things that were supposed to make Israel feel comfortable - and they didn't." "In this part of the's all about strength. Strength keeps people safe and [keeps] the peace here....The weak find themselves at great peril. Our policy for four years was to project American strength within the region and support the exercise of strength by our allies." The message was clear that if Israel is attacked by its enemies, there would be "no restrictions whatsoever" on Israel to defend itself.

2021-03-22 00:00:00

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