The left-leaning lobby group J Street excoriated the Trump administration and US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, claiming that the administration’s support for the application of Israeli sovereignty over Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria would constitute a “disaster”.
Yael Patir, the director of J Street’s operations in Israel, responded to Friedman’s comments published by Israel Hayom Wednesday morning, calling them a “green light” to Israeli “annexation”.
“The Trump administration has announced through Ambassador Friedman that it has given a green light to disaster,” Patir said in a statement Wednesday morning.
“Using fabricated conditions for talks with the Palestinians as cover, the administration is permitting a process which constitutes the end of the Palestinian hope for self-determination, and will mean continuing existential threat for the State of Israel as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people. Annexation won’t lead to dialogue, but a dangerous maelstrom which is liable to jeopardize the stability of the entire region.”
“In his comments on the right to annex, Ambassador Friedman completely ignores the unequivocal position of the US House of Representatives and Resolution 326, which received bipartisan support, backing America’s commitment to advancing the two-state solution and opposing unilateral annexation,” Patir continued, referencing House Resolution 326, passed by the House of Representatives last December by a margin of 226 to 188.
Earlier on Wednesday, Israel Hayom published an excerpt of an interview with Friedman in which the ambassador laid out the conditions for American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.
Under the Trump administration’s Mideast peace plan, Israel will be permitted to apply sovereignty to Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria, provided the Israeli government commit to leaving the door open for “good faith” final status talks with the Palestinian Authority for the next four years, and refrain from expanding any of the 15 smaller Israeli enclaves.