Further solidifying human rights advocates’ fears that the Trump administration’s policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is solely focused on satisfying the Israeli government, a top U.S. diplomat in the region suggested Tuesday that Israel’s authority in the Middle East is God-ordained.
At an event marking the first anniversary of the U.S. embassy’s move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, U.S. Ambassdor to Israel David Friedman remarked that the relationship between the two countries is growing stronger because “Israel has one secret weapon that no other country has: Israel is on the side of God.”
The comments came hours before Palestinians gathered at the Israel-Gaza border to mark a different anniversary—71 years after the Nakba when about 700,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes when Israel was established.
Friedman’s remarks were met with disbelief and outrage from critics including James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute.
Yousef Munayyer, who heads the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, argued that such a statement from a top Trump administration official undermines any hope that may still remain that the current U.S. government hopes to reach an equitable solution to the conflict.
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