US Ambassador David Friedman (with raised hand) and family at swearing in ceremony [Photo Credit: McKenzie Clift, Office of the Vice President of the United States]

During a recent interview with Yaakov Alon, on the Walla news website, US ambassador to Israel David Friedman was asked about his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to speculate on the Trump administration’s plans moving forward on the issue. “I think the settlements are part of Israel,” Friedman said.

In explaining his sentiment toward Judea and Samaria, Friedman told Alon, “when Resolution 242 was adopted in 1967, it was, and remains today, the only substantive resolution that was agreed to by everybody… The 1967 borders were viewed by everybody as not secure, so Israel would retain a meaningful portion of the West Bank, and it would return that which it didn’t need for peace and security.”

Referring to the two-state solution, Friedman said the concept “has largely lost its meaning, or at least has a different meaning to different people.” He argued that the term has been exploited by so many to the point where it is no longer useful.

Also on Thursday, it was announced in Israel that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English will visit Israel at the end of October. Israel’s history with New Zealand has been rocky at best, but ties with neighboring Australia has been very cordial. Turnbull’s time in Israel will be the third top-level bilateral visit between Israeli and Australian officials in the past 12 months.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has previously said that Judea and Samaria communities should not be considered “illegal.” In an opinion piece on her website clarifying the position of Australia’s coalition government, Bishop wrote, “I am proud to be a member of a political party that has never wavered in its support for Israel as a vibrant democracy in a region where freedom and tolerance is in short supply.”

Meeting with Mr Reuven Ruvi Rivlin, President of Israel, to reaffirm the longstanding friendship between Israel and Australia.

Posted by Julie Bishop MP on Sunday, September 4, 2016

With The Prime Minister of Israel, Mr Benjamin Netanyahu, to discuss ways to enhance our bilateral relationship including through cooperation on innovation, security and trade.

Posted by Julie Bishop MP on Sunday, September 4, 2016

We thank US Ambassador David Friedman and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for their support for Israel and for the Jewish People’s right to live and prosper in the areas of Judea and Samaria.

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