Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- The United States ambassador to Israel, a driving force in crafting the Trump administration’s long-awaited peace proposal, declared Tuesday that Israel was “on the side of God.”
Speaking at a celebration sponsored by an American evangelical group to mark the anniversary of the move of the United States embassy to occupied Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, Ambassador David M. Friedman said that Israel was gaining strength for two reasons.
First, he said, the relationship between the two countries was growing “stronger and stronger and stronger.”
“And the second is that Israel has one secret weapon that not too many countries have,” Mr. Friedman added. “Israel is on the side of God, and we don’t underestimate that.”
Friedman’s extremist remark was widely criticized.
“As the ambassador of the far-right Orthodox Jewish community in the United States, Friedman’s comment makes sense,” Daniel C. Kurtzer, who served as U.S. ambassador to Israel under George W. Bush and ambassador to Egypt under Bill Clinton, told the Times.
“As the supposed ambassador of the United States government and all its people, it is an extremely inappropriate comment.”
Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s chief negotiator denounced Freidman for echoing sentiments that are normally held by religious extremists. “What ambassador Friedman is telling Palestinians, Christians and Muslims, that God is against them (or that they’re enemies of God). This was never an American position,” he said.
Friedman, a Trump campaign adviser who called for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem during the campaign, also laughed off predictions at the time of the embassy relocation that it would lead to mass violence.
“In the entire city of Jerusalem that day, I don’t think more than 20 people got up to protest,” he said. “I think more people were unhappy about the food they were eating in various restaurants than they were about the move of the embassy to Jerusalem.”
Israeli forces killed about 60 Palestinians demonstrating along the Gaza border fence the day of the move, which Friedman said had “nothing to do with the opening of the embassy.”