Tags: Israel | Trump Administration | friedman | trump | jerusalem | action | bold

Amb. Friedman: Trump's Jerusalem Action Bold, Courageous, Smart

Image: Amb. Friedman: Trump's Jerusalem Action Bold, Courageous, Smart
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 11:53 AM

President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was bold and courageous, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Thursday.

"I am really proud of the president," Friedman told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. "I thought this decision was bold. It was courageous. It was really smart. It was the right decision at the right time, and I think it reflects the popular will."

He said he also thinks the decision was the "best path for peace," and that it puts the United States "very much in the right place and it puts the president very much on the right side of history."

However, on Thursday, the Islamist group Hamas urged Palestinians to abandon peace efforts in response to Trump's recognition of Jerusalem, and several countries, both allies and non-allies of the United States, have spoken out against the decision.

Live demonstrations are taking place in Jerusalem as well, and Friedman said there is concern about those.

"The United States has taken all the appropriate precautions to protect American citizens abroad," said Friedman. "If you look at the peace process, if you will, over the past 25 years, the Palestinians have had a basket of issues that they have been attempting to advance during the course of the negotiations.

"I'm not going to comment on the merits of those issues. But they have had their issues, and whatever issues they had yesterday, they still have today."

Trump, however, made it clear he was not seeking to "foreclose any of those issues," but instead, he wanted to end the "fantasy" that Jerusalem could be disconnected from Israel, said Friedman.

"The president didn't want the Israelis to show up at the bargaining table and be forced to negotiate for something that they already had," he added. "That wasn't the right structure for negotiations. So, you know what? We understand and expected the emotional reaction, the disappointment."

However, those demonstrating did not listen closely enough to Trump's words.

"The president remains committed to a peace process," he said. "He is committed to good faith negotiation to all the final status issues. What he did yesterday was to simply speak the truth and to develop for the first time a foreign policy based upon reality, rather than fantasy."

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President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was bold and courageous, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Thursday.
friedman, trump, jerusalem, action, bold
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2017-53-07
Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 11:53 AM
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