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What we know about Donald Trump ambassador pick for Israel

David Friedman, who is Jewish, backs moving the American embassy to Jerusalem.



Jerusalem: US President-elect Donald Trump has nominated hardliner David Friedman as the next ambassador to Israel, in a move welcomed by conservatives in the Jewish state but opposed by two-state campaigners.

Here are some Friedman quotes on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

Israel seized Arab east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

The city`s status is one of the thorniest issues of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and foreign governments base their embassies in Tel Aviv rather than Jerusalem.

Friedman, who is Jewish, backs moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, saying in a Trump transition team statement Thursday that he wanted to work from "Israel`s eternal capital, Jerusalem".

Around 400,000 Israelis live in settlements in the occupied West Bank, which the Jewish state also captured in 1967.

The United Nations considers all settlements to be illegal, and settlement expansion has been a key source of friction between Israel`s right-wing government and outgoing US President Barack Obama.

Asked by AFP in October about Trump`s view on the settlements, Friedman said: "I don`t think he believes that the settlements are illegal."

In a separate column for the Jerusalem Post, Friedman wrote that Trump would "not ask Israel to curtail its development" in the West Bank.
The issue of an independent Palestinian state, the so-called two-state solution, is another question.

Asked whether Trump would support Palestinian statehood, Friedman told Israeli newspaper Haaretz it was not an "American imperative".

"The Israelis have to make the decision on whether or not to give up land to create a Palestinian state. If the Israelis don`t want to do it, so he (Trump) doesn`t think they should do it. It is their choice."

Earlier this year, he wrote that leaders of J-Street, an American Jewish organisation that campaigns for Palestinian statehood, were "far worse than kapos".

He was referring to inmates of Nazi concentration camps put in charge of other prisoners in return for special privileges.

In the same article, he accused Obama of "blatant anti-Semitism" for not condemning incitement against Jews sufficiently.
Right-wing Israeli politicians, including ministers, have repeatedly called for the country to annex parts of the West Bank -- claiming the territory as an integral part of Israel.

The international community says large-scale annexation would make an independent Palestinian state near impossible.

Asked whether Trump would support annexing parts of the West Bank, Friedman told Haaretz: "I would expect that he would."

"I think there are parts of the West Bank that will stay part of Israel in any peace deal. I am sure he wouldn`t have any problem with that at all."

From Zee News

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