David Friedman: Sovereignty plan won't be coming in near future

US never pushed Israel to freeze construction in Judea and Samaria, says Friedman; notes Biden's criticism of Israeli construction in J'lem.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

David Friedman in the Oval Office
David Friedman in the Oval Office
Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said the Israeli sovereignty plan remains on the table, but will not be implemented in the next year or two.

In an interview with Makor Rishon published Friday, Friedman emphasized that Israel agreed to suspend, but not cancel, its plan to apply Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.

That being said, Friedman noted that there is no set timeframe for the suspension, adding that the sovereignty plan will probably not be implemented any time in the near future.

“The proper term is ‘suspension’,” said Friedman. “It is impossible to translate that term into a specific timeframe. The whole idea is to use the creative energies as much as possible for the signing of agreements between Israel and Arab states. Sovereignty won’t be happening in the near future. It has been pushed off for a year, maybe two years.”

“I don’t know when it will happen. When we – the US and Israel – reach a joint decision regarding sovereignty, the idea is to have already achieved peace deals between Israel and a number of Arab states.”

“We’ve created a major change and a tremendous opportunity for people who believe in Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. We put forth a plan which would not include…the evacuation of a single community in Judea and Samaria.”

Turning to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Friedman recalled Biden’s anger at the Israeli government during his visit to Jerusalem in 2010, when housing plans were announced for units in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in the capital.

“My only memory of Biden in connection to Israel is his embarrassing reaction to the announcement of housing units in Ramat Shlomo in 2010. Ramat Shlomo is a haredi neighborhood in an area under Israeli sovereignty, in the municipality of Jerusalem. At the same time he was visiting Israel and met with Netanyahu. He got very angry and condemned the announcement while still in Israel.”

“That’s something you just don’t do. He should have understood that Israel is a sovereign nation in which houses can be built freely, and Netanyahu isn’t responsible for building every house, especially in Jerusalem – unlike in Judea and Samaria.”