The US Ambassador to Israel excoriated Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, calling it “stupid” and “infuriating”, during an online webinar with the left-wing Peace Now organization’s American branch.
Ambassador Thomas Nides appeared live on the webinar hosted Tuesday night by Americans for Peace Now, calling for steps to make Israel a “more equitable place” and strongly emphasizing his support for Palestinian statehood as part of a two-state solution.
“My north star is… I am focused on strengthening a democratic, Jewish state - however, to do that, we must have a two-state solution.”
“If we lose sight of the two-state solution, if we talk about a one-state solution, if we talk about anything but the two-state solution, it is not good for the Palestinians, it is certainly not good for Israel, it is not good for the Jews – it is not good for anyone.”
“In every speech and in every conversation, I talk about the need to focus and make sure we don’t lose sight of the two-state solution.”
"We can't do stupid things that impede us for a two-state solution. What I mean by that is, we can't have the Israelis doing settlement growth, both in east Jerusalem or the West Bank," Nides continued.
“I can’t stop everything, just so we’re clear, I have to pick my battles,” Nides added, mentioning his intense pressure on Israel not to develop the E-1 project which would link Jerusalem with Ma’aleh Adumim, one of the largest Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria.
“E-1 was a disaster, I went full bore on E-1.”
“I’d be lying to you if every single house… in east Jerusalem or the West Bank I could stop… and I’d be useless as an ambassador.”
“I have to pick and choose what I focus on.”
"I'm a bit of a nag on this, including the idea of settlement growth – which infuriates me, when they do things – just infuriates the situation, both in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.”