Ambassador Friedman:
'Deal of Century does not eliminate two-state solution'

Answering critics, Ambassador says 'sovereignty will strengthen Jewish majority in Israel', but makes clear plan leads to Palestinian state.

Mordechai Sones ,

Ambassador Friedman at wide March of the Living
Ambassador Friedman at wide March of the Living
Yossi Zeliger

In an op-ed in the New York Post, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman defended President Trump's Deal of the Century, responding to an article by two former Obama associates Philip Gordon and Robert Malley who strongly criticized the plan.

Gordon and Malley claimed that annexing territories in Judea and Samaria according to Trump's plan would endanger the Jewish majority in Israel and the definition of the State of Israel as a Jewish state.

"Wrong," Friedman wrote. "Under the Trump vision, ­Israel would be claiming sovereignty over a fraction of the West Bank, comprising territories that either are sparsely populated or overwhelmingly populated by Israeli Jews.

"­Israel wouldn’t be doing that to territories with significant Palestinian populations," the Ambassador explained; "Therefore, the vision wouldn’t alter the Jewish majority within the State of Israel. In fact, it would increase it."

Ambassador Friedman also referred to Malley and Gordon's claims that the Deal of the Century eliminates the two-state solution. "On the contrary," Friedman clarified, "the Trump vision provides for a two-state solution. Ours is the first and only administration to have obtained Israel’s commitment to negotiate based upon specific terms, conditions and territorial dimensions that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state with double the geographic footprint they enjoy now."