Previous governments only fought to get the Palestinians to the negotiating table. Waiting for Palestinians to agree to talks before proceeding gave them a veto on the process, Friedman said, only encouraging them to accept inappropriate demands.
“A flood of refugees to Israel? That will never happen, ”he said. “Share Jerusalem? It just won’t happen. Israel is giving up certain parts of its biblical heartland? That will never happen. “
He said the White House had “injected the Palestinian psyche with an enormously needed dose of realism of what is achievable and what is not.”
The Palestinians agree.
Husam Zomlot, who headed the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington until it closes, said Friedman’s sense of his accomplishments was delusional. Far from increasing American influence on the conflict, Friedman reduced it to almost zero and nearly destroyed hopes for a two-state solution.
“He was the American mob in our Capitol,” he said, referring to the recent Washington uprising. “Same logic, same behavior. This is Friedman. And just like Congress, the Biden administration must wipe the floor of US-Palestinian relations and the peace process completely clean. “
Mr Friedman claimed that the Trump Peace Plan, by setting requirements for financial transparency, human rights and other norms for Palestinians to gain statehood, was in fact “a gift to the Palestinian people” that would make their “quality of life far more bearable.” “Israel’s warming relations with Arab states would” open the Palestinians’ imagination to what could be. “
He also insisted that the Trump administration never attempted to back Mr Netanyahu’s re-election campaigns – although recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, to name but a plum widely viewed as a campaign gift, came just two weeks before the first Be right.