Middle East Monitor / January 30, 2020
Israeli soldiers patrolling a future Palestinian state should not be considered occupying powers, according to David Friedman.
The US ambassador to Israel, who is closely aligned to the Israeli settlement enterprise, suggested that US troops patrolling cities is various parts of the world were no different to Israeli troops walking the streets of Palestine.
“The United States has military presence all over the world. We have presence in Germany, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, I mean…none of those countries consider themselves occupied by the United States and certainly don’t consider ourselves to be occupiers,” said Friedman.
Friedman made the remarks during a briefing to reporters around the globe, including in Brussels, over the phone, during which he rejected any notion that Israel’s security dominance in the envisaged Palestinian state under President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” is tantamount to occupation.
The former bankruptcy lawyer is one of the main architects of the so called “peace plan” which many have dismissed as an “apartheid plan”. Nevertheless, Friedman has defended the proposal and has not minced his words about wanting to help Israel in annexing the West Bank.
After recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, the next step was to annex the West Bank, Friedman said earlier this month.
The plan, which has been rejected by the Palestinians over its failure to guarantee even the most basic rights agreed upon by the international community, was unveiled on Tuesday by President Donald Trump with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flanked by his side.
China has also come out in opposition to the plan insisting that the United Nations resolutions, the two-state solution, the principle of land for peace and other internationally backed measures form the basis for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
After the launch, Friedman met with a group of more than 20 Jewish and Evangelical leaders for an off-the-record briefing, according to the Times of Israel.
He is said to have told the gathering of American Jewish and Christian Evangelical leaders, many of whom subscribe to messianic ideas about creating a greater Israel, that it would take a long time for a Palestinian state to emerge under the White House’s Middle East peace plan.
Palestinian Ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot dismissed the plan on the BBC saying that it’s true aim was to satisfy the fantasies of zealots and religious fundamentalist that wish for a greater Israel while trampling on human rights, democracy and international law.