Ambassador David Friedman
Ambassador David FriedmanINN

Former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Thursday unveiled a new proposal calling for full Israeli sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

Friedman presented an outline of the proposal at an event of the Keep God’s Land movement during the National Religious Broadcasters Conference which was held in Nashville, Tennessee, last week.

The full plan, titled “The Future of Judea & Samaria”, was devised by the former ambassador’s Friedman Center for Peace Through Strength. It makes note of Israel’s biblical claims to Judea and Samaria as well as its importance to Israel’s security due to its close proximity to all of Israel’s population centers.

“If transferred to Palestinian control, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will be within short distance of rocket fire,” the plan says.

“A security threat that cannot be overstated — a Palestinian State is an existential threat to the State of Israel,” it states, noting that “efforts by past US governments to design security protections for Israel if it surrenders this territory have all failed.”

The plan highlights that Judea and Samaria are at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict and that all prior attempts to resolve the status of the region have failed.

“Two-state solution is a dead letter; Israel has no margin of error and the Palestinian leadership has proven unreliable as a peace partner. Nonetheless, even after the October 7 assault, the US Administration is still pushing this outcome,” it states, adding that a one-state solution, on the other hand, “simply swaps an untenable military risk for an untenable demographic risk.”

The vision for the future offered by Friedman’s plan calls for a tripartite agreement among Israel, the US and an expanded group of Abraham Accord Muslim countries; Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria; a Marshall Plan for Palestinian Arabs funded largely by Gulf neighbors; Palestinian enclaves with maximum civilian autonomy subject to Israeli overriding security control; Palestinian Arabs afforded permanent residency and Israeli travel documents, but no voting in national elections, with Arab-Israeli citizens unaffected.

The plan deals with the question of whether the US can support a solution without full Palestinian Arab equal rights and argues that it can.

“Yes, this is not apartheid. In racist South Africa, blacks were taken from their homes and placed in “bantustans” in awful living conditions. Here, Palestinians are guaranteed that they will keep their homes with significant economic improvement and internal controls. Palestinians will receive full civil rights other than the right to destroy the world’s only Jewish state through demographic power.”

It points out that he US “holds territories that do not participate in national elections (e.g. Puerto Rico, Guam etc.). Those arrangements are accepted because they provided significant reciprocal benefits.”

In addition, it says, “More than 40 nations have a national religion, including most of the Gulf states. Their laws are designed to protect their national faith. There is room in the world for a single Jewish State.”

Friedman’s plan argues that, in contrast to prior right-wing efforts within Israel, this vision is a win-win as it is a holistic solution to improve stability of the region; addresses head on the realities on the ground, including the need to improve Palestinian quality of life; builds upon Abraham Accords breakthroughs; ensures that Judea and Samaria is sovereign territory of the State of Israel in accordance with biblical prophecy and values, and guarantees that the most holy of sites to the Christian and Jewish faith remain preserved and accessible to all.