Friedman: The media blew things out of proportion

US Ambassador to Israel speaks about the US position on the Western Wall, Jonathan Pollard, and moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

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David Friedman
David Friedman
Reuters

In an interview with the Israel Hayom newspaper, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman spoke about the Trump administration's stance on moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"I know that US President Donald Trump is speaking with all relevant parties on the matter before he makes his final decision," Friedman said. "This is his decision and I will let him speak for himself, when he deems the time right."

"I told him of my opinion, but mine is one of many. The President's job is to listen to all of the opinions and to decide the best course of action."

Speaking of Trump's upcoming visit to the Western Wall, Friedman said, "The President's visit to the Western Wall, his speech, and his meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - were all variations on the same idea."

"Trump is disconnecting from the events of the past eight years, and he will be seen as a pro-Israel leader, both in theory and in action.

"I assume that Trump's upcoming speech will be very positive, and Israelis will feel good about it."

Regarding the comment by a senior White House official that the Western Wall is not actually in Israel, Friedman said, "This incident was caused by a misunderstanding. What's more important is that if this in fact was said, whoever said it did not speak in the name of the United States, and does not represent our policies."

"The media acted unjustly, and blew things out of proportion."

Friedman also said he himself intends to visit Judea and Samaria. In his opinion, the fact that he is a religious American Jew "does not create any conflict of interest."

"I was chosen for this task because the President believes in me, and he appreciates my dedication," Friedman explained. "More than anything else, the decision to appoint me ambassador was a declaration of support for Israel. That was his purpose. I hope when I finish my term people will agree that the decision to appoint me as ambassador to Israel gave Israel only strength."

Regarding Jonathan Pollard, who was released from a US prison after being convicted of spying for Israel, but cannot return home to Israel, Friedman said, "The truth is that I have not yet spoke to Trump about the issue. Personally, I think Pollard has suffered enough. I think we need to allow him to come back to Israel. I think we need to allow him to visit Israel as long as he is healthy enough to do so. But again, I have not spoken with the President about it."








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