Former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman spoke to Israel National News - Arutz Sheva today (Thursday) about the Hamas massacre of over 1,400 Israelis on Simchat Torah and America's response to the massacre and subsequent outpouring of support for the Jewish State.

Ambassador Friedman remains in Israel in the aftermath of the massacre. "This is where I belong, this is where I feel like I should be," he explained. "I'm happy to be here, I'm not complaining. My only complaint is that a couple of weeks ago when my children and grandchildren were here, and we were rushing into a bomb shelter, I had to explain to a very impressionable 12-year-old granddaughter that there remained people in the world that want to kill us just because we're Jews. I had hoped that we were at a point in our collective history where that wouldn't be necessary anymore, but regrettably, antisemitism is still very much upon us."

He had praise for the conduct of US President Joe Biden following the President's visit to Israel yesterday and the support the Biden Administration has shown in the last two weeks. "I'm very proud to be an American, and I was very proud of the President yesterday, who traveled 6,000 miles to really just, I think, give a hug to the Jewish people. I thought it was sincere, heartfelt. I'm even happier that the [American aircraft carriers] Gerald Ford and the Eisenhower, these two massive carrier strike forces, are off the coast of Israel. I'm very gratified by his use of the word 'don't,' in terms of Hezbollah or Iran acting up."

However, he cautioned that Biden's words of support must be backed-up in the long-term by action, and that pressure by the US to end the war too quickly could be disastrous. "What I am hoping for, and I think it's too soon to tell, is whether or not the United States will give Israel the time it needs to conduct this war. Israel needs time. The more Israel feels pressure to act, the more its calculation is that it has to act quickly, - I think that's bad for Israel, I think it's bad for its soldiers, I think it's also bad for the Palestinians. Because I think Israel will, by necessity, have to act more aggressively. If Israel is given the time to do this methodically, surgically, decisively, I think that's better for everyone. And I think right now, the real question of the day is one of time. How much time before America begins to pressure Israel to stop? I hope that doesn't happen. I'm encouraged by what we've seen over the last few days, but this is a huge issue, and the jury is still out on that issue."

Ambassador Friedman was not critical of the Biden Administration's strong push to provide humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip despite the continued rule of Hamas over the coastal enclave and the likelihood that such aid would be seized by Hamas. "I think the United States finds itself in a position where it needs to push humanitarian aid. I think it reached the right agreement with Israel that it's gonna only go through the Egyptian border, it'll be inspected before it goes in, and if any of it can be shown to be going to Hamas, it'll stop. I think that's probably the right way to thread the needle, given the interests that America has, as well as Israel, in this conflict."

Ambassador Friedman believes that President Biden truly feels the need to stand with Israel following the Hamas massacre and the emotion he has conveyed in his speeches on the atrocities and in Israel are genuine. "I think it's very much Joe Biden. I think the way he acted over the last few days, I don't think you can fake that. I think his feelings are legitimate. My biggest issue with the Biden Administration - I've had many and continue to have many - but it's really about the team that he's assembled around him and the way that he's courted the left-wing of his base, which I think have nothing in them that's good for Israel, the Jewish people, or, frankly, America. I think this was a turning point for him. I think he realized that perhaps he'd been misled by many of the people that he mistakenly put inside his government. So this could be a turning point, or it could be back to business as usual as we get closer to the election. I don't know. We have to watch the administration carefully, and we have to hold them to their promises that they made over the last few days."

While the US is supporting Israel in the aftermath of the massacre, the ambassador is less than optimistic that the rest of the world will be as understanding, even in the face of such horrific atrocities. "The world is, I think, too big, a bridge too far. I think it is an awakening for the people of the United States. I think they understand much more clearly what kind of challenges Israel faces on its borders - not just the military challenges and the security challenges, but the intense hatred, the barbaric hatred, hatred that many of us have never seen in our lifetimes, against the Jewish people. That can't be the subject of a negotiation or a political resolution. It can only be the subject of an overwhelming military victory. I think people are starting to understand that. Even people on the Jewish left, I think, are realizing how mistaken, maybe, they've been over the past decades. So we're seeing some of that. We're also seeing in Israel, somewhat of an awakening. We're seeing incredible unity. Look, the country, as you know, was very divided over the past year. Since this attack, I've not seen the Jewish people this united. From the left, to center, to right, religious, non-religious. Airplanes overbooked by Israelis outside the country who want to cut short their vacations to come back and serve."

"Now, we're paying a giant price for this, a massive price, a price that's unthinkable. But the Jewish people today are very united, and America and Israel are very united. There is a glimmer of hope in that reality," he noted.

Finally, Ambassador Friedman addressed the comments made by his former boss, former US President Donald Trump, blaming the current Israeli government and Prime Minister Netanyahu for allowing the massacre to be committed on their watch. "I think those comments were followed up by a number of comments that were unequivocally supportive of Israel, supportive of Prime Minister Netanyahu. I think that was an off-the-cuff remark which [was made] in the middle of an election season. I wouldn't dwell on it. I think if President Trump were in this situation, he would be every bit as supportive of Israel. as would almost anybody in this situation. Because there's such moral clarity that I think it's hard not to see it. But I think we've got to stay away from the politics. There will be a time, God willing, when this is over, when both in America and in Israel, we'll look back and see whether we could have done things differently and had a better outcome or have avoided this tragedy. It's inevitable that will happen. But this is the wrong time to do that."

"Let's rally around our leaders, both in Israel and America, and win this war. It's an existential battle for the Jewish people. We have to win this war and not quibble over politics," Ambassador Friedman concluded.