Oct. 2, 2019
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told the Jerusalem Post in an interview:
Q: You were criticized over the summer for the picture of you taking a sledgehammer and inaugurating the City of David’s Pilgrimage Road.
Friedman: “I am very proud of that move. I am completely comfortable with what happened. It was a once-in-a-century archaeological discovery that deeply connected the modern State of Israel to its historical and biblical roots. Given the extent to which Israel’s enemies have tried to deny those roots, the fact that there is scientific proof to the contrary is extremely important.”
“The United States has a deep interest in Jerusalem and its history….The fact that we had the opportunity to participate in this discovery, and all that it meant in the scientific corroboration of history, meant a lot to America, as well as to Israel.”
“The Palestinians have every right to their wishes, political aspirations, beliefs and their personal narratives. But they don’t have a right to their own facts….To resent the fact that science has corroborated what most of us already knew, I’m not sympathetic to that grievance.”
Q: What can Israel do to maintain support in Congress?
Friedman: “I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding….There is this sense that Israel could somehow, with the flick of a switch, end this so-called ‘occupation of Palestine’ – and the world would be a safer place, and the Palestinians and Israelis would lead better lives. And it’s at odds with the facts and at odds with reality.”
“Israelis kind of look at this perspective, and don’t understand it – and I appreciate why. Because right now, there is no safe way for Israel to separate from the Palestinians. The Palestinians have no control over Hamas, over Islamic Jihad; they continue to pay terrorists; the Palestinian textbooks continue to contain highly inappropriate and inciting language, in some cases. The Palestinians have no record on human rights.”
“These are real problems; they are not things that just get fixed because somebody flicks a switch and says, ‘Ok, we’re going to move out [of the territories].'”