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U.S. Ambassador Supports “Extended Autonomy” for Palestinians (CNN via Daily Alert)

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July 31, 2019

  • U.S. Ambassador Supports “Extended Autonomy” for Palestinians
    U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview on Tuesday: “We believe in Palestinian autonomy. We believe in Palestinian civilian self-governance. We believe that that autonomy should be extended up until the point where it interferes with Israeli security.”
    “We’ve made the point over and over again that the economic solution goes hand-in-hand with a political solution, but…in order to have a political solution you need political institutions. You need a transparent economy. You need the rule of law. You need certain freedoms – freedom of the press. You need a justice system. You need to stop concentrating all the Palestinian wealth in the political elites. That’s part of what [the] Bahrain [conference] was about – trying to help the Palestinians create the institutions necessary for statehood.”
    “Let’s be clear. The last thing the world needs is a failed Palestinian state in between Jordan and Israel. And right now, the Palestinian government is so weak. They have no answer to Hamas. They leave that to Israel to take care of….The one thing that can’t happen is the Palestinians obtain independence and in short order this becomes a failed state controlled by Hamas, Hizbullah, ISIS, or al-Qaeda. That is an existential threat to Israel. It is an existential threat to Jordan. It simply can’t be.”
    “The point is, we need to help the Palestinians create the institutions for autonomy and self-governance. What I’m saying is nothing new. If you listen to what Yitzhak Rabin said to the Knesset in 1995…to sell the Oslo Accords, he also was unwilling to use the term ‘Palestinian state.’ He preferred words like ‘autonomy’ and ‘self-governance’ because that word just creates expectations that cause everybody to retreat to their corners and it’s not helpful.”
    “The security issues are somewhat daunting. The world has changed a lot in the last 10-15 years. The last time people took a hard look at peacemaking, Gaza was not threatening to Israel, Lebanon was far less threatening to Israel, Syria obviously wasn’t the catastrophe that it became, Iraq was less threatening and Iran was much less threatening to Israel. So the capacity of Israel to take risks has changed, the facts on the ground have changed, and we need to develop a plan for 2019.”  (CNN)
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