US Ambassador to Israel working to “eliminate” growth of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria

US Ambassador to Israel working to “eliminate” growth of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria

In a wide-raging interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the US Ambassador to Israel, Thomas Nides said, “We do not support settlement growth. Period. I work every day behind the scenes, with the Israelis, to try and eliminate, slow down or avoid that.”

He added, “[Israel] is a sovereign country. We can’t dictate to them what they can or can’t do, but I can put as much pressure as I can to make sure they understand our position.”

Nides does not support Jews living in Judea and Samaria. He is a strong advocate for the ‘two-state solution” which calls for the creation of a militarized Palestinian State inside the borders of Israel that has been ethnically cleansed of Jews with its exclusively Muslim capital in Jerusalem.

“We are under no illusions here that I will be standing in the Rose Garden [at the White House] receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for getting the two-state solution, but it’s important that we create the conditions on the ground for a two-state solution,” Nides said. “And that includes helping the Palestinian people.”

For this reason, the Biden administration supports the left-wing Israeli interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid for his “his brave comments on the importance of the two-state solution” at the United Nations General Assembly. Lapid was heavily criticized by Israelis for his statements. He has also been criticized for accepting a US-brokered deal with Lebanon concerning the Karish gas field. Critics, like opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and former Ambassador David Friedman, claim it was capitulation that would empower Hezbollah.

“That is ridiculous,” Nides said to JTA. “I have enormous respect for David [Friedman] and I’m not in any way criticizing him,” Nides said. “However, it’s wrong. In fact, former Prime Minister Netanyahu also supported a very similar deal a few years ago.”

“I’m quite confident we will get this done. Obviously, in no way will we ever support something that would create a security risk for the state of Israel or put Israel at a disadvantage,” Nides said.

Nides also commented on the ongoing wave of terrorism in Judea and Samaria. The IDF is carrying out nightly raids in Operation Breakwater and is encountering terrorist militias armed with automatic weapons. On Saturday night, a female IDF soldier was murdered and another seriously wounded by Palestinian terrorists in Jerusalem. The operation comes after a wave of terrorism in which 19 Israelis were murdered and the PIJ fired over 1,100 rockets at Israel. About 100 Palestinians have died in raids since the start of the year, the vast majority of whom were terrorists.

Nides saw the solution as cooperation with the Palestinian Authority.

“We work with the PA every day, to help them provide the security they want. We want the PA to take their own lead with their own people. The PA has no interest in having terrorist cells exist”, Nides said.

Nides was born to Jewish parents. In 1992, he married Virginia Carpenter Moseley in an ecumenical ceremony. Moseley is CNN’s senior vice president of newsgathering.


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