Previous administrations, he stated, had struggled merely to convey the Palestinians to the bargaining desk. Waiting for the Palestinians to agree to talks earlier than shifting ahead gave them a veto over the course of, Mr. Friedman stated, which solely inspired them to undertake unreasonable calls for.
“A flood of refugees into Israel? Never going to happen,” he stated. “Dividing Jerusalem? It’s just never going to happen. Israel giving up certain parts of its biblical heartland? Never going to happen.”
He stated the White House had “injected a tremendously needed dose of realism into the Palestinian psyche about what’s achievable and what’s not.”
The Palestinians beg to differ.
Husam Zomlot, who headed the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington till it was closed, stated Mr. Friedman’s sense of his accomplishments was delusional. Far from enhancing American affect on the battle, he stated, Mr. Friedman had diminished it almost to nil, all however destroying hopes for a two-state answer.
“He was the American mob in our Capitol,” he stated, alluding to the current rebel in Washington. “Same logic, same behavior. That’s Friedman. And just as Congress did, the Biden administration will have to wipe the floor of U.S.-Palestinian relations and the peace process completely clean.”
Mr. Friedman asserted that the Trump peace plan, by setting necessities of economic transparency, human rights and different norms for the Palestinians to acquire statehood, was truly “a gift to the Palestinian people” that might make their “quality of life far more bearable.” Israel’s warming relations with Arab states, he contended, would “open up the imagination of the Palestinians to what could be.”
He additionally insisted that the Trump administration by no means sought to support Mr. Netanyahu’s re-election campaigns — although its recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, to identify one plum extensively perceived as a marketing campaign present, got here simply two weeks earlier than the first of these votes.