U.S. ambassador says Israeli security considerations trump Palestinian statehood

U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks on stage on during the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Israel, May 14, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks on stage on during the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Israel, May 14, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli security considerations would come before Palestinian statehood, the U.S. ambassador to Israel said a day after President Donald Trump said he favoured a two-state solution.

David Friedman for the first time also publicly referred to “a two-state solution,” referring to Israel and a future Palestinian state, during an interview with the Israeli public broadcaster Kan. He said that he has difficulty with the term because it means “so many different things to so many different people.”

A two-minute excerpt of the interview was broadcast Thursday on social media and on the Kan website. The full interview was scheduled to be aired Thursday evening.

On Wednesday, Trump told reporters in New York that he favours a two-state solution and that his administration’s proposed peace plan will be revealed in the next four months.

“I think that under the right circumstances, where a Palestinian state is not a threat to Israel, it is something that people should think about,” he said.

Friedman emphasized that “Where Palestinian autonomy and Israeli security intersect, we err on the side of Israeli security,”

“It is a very different view than I think has been expressed in the past,” he said, adding that Trump has been “the most pro-Israel president in the history of the United States.”

Friedman said the Trump administration’s peace plan is already ready and that the United States would never propose something that deprived Israel of the right to maintain security control.

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