U.S. Ambassador Says Israel Is ‘on the Side of God’ – News

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Palestinians have been slack-jawed.

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“The place does that place the remainder of the world?” mentioned Hanan Ashrawi, a veteran Palestinian negotiator and member of the Palestine Liberation Group’s govt committee. “I can’t consider it. I can’t consider this excessive fundamentalist ideologue is an envoy.”

Ms. Ashrawi — who mentioned that on Monday she had been denied a visa to america for the primary time — famous that the occasion at which Mr. Friedman had made the comment, with its echoes of spiritual warfare, was held in a lodge a stone’s throw from the partitions of the Outdated Metropolis, the place Crusaders and Muslims had slaughtered each other for hundreds of years.

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“The final time we had folks pondering that approach in Palestine was within the Center Ages, and have a look at what occurred,” Ms. Ashrawi mentioned.

Saeb Erekat, the P.L.O.’s longtime chief negotiator, questioned the propriety of referring to God as a weapon in any respect. “What ambassador Friedman is telling Palestinians, Christians and Muslims,” he wrote on Twitter, was “that God is towards them (or that they’re enemies of God). This was by no means an American place.”

Nobody has accused Mr. Friedman, who was Mr. Trump’s longtime chapter lawyer, of impartiality in his put up, and even of the studied neutrality of profession diplomats. Earlier than being appointed he was a distinguished supporter of and main donor to the Israeli settlement enterprise within the occupied West Financial institution, which many of the world considers unlawful underneath worldwide legislation.

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He also can appear to ask fees that he’s overly near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel: Opening his remarks Tuesday night time, he acknowledged Mr. Netanyahu’s presence and joked that it had been mere days since they’d seen one another, including, “It’s been tough to be other than you for thus lengthy.”

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In his speech, Mr. Friedman made gentle of predictions of violence over the transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem a 12 months in the past. “In all the metropolis of Jerusalem that day, I don’t suppose greater than 20 folks received as much as protest,” he mentioned. “I feel extra folks have been sad concerning the meals they have been consuming in numerous eating places than they have been concerning the transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem.”

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