‘Trump won’t jettison Judea and Samaria,’ advisor says

“The Republican platform on Israel is the strongest that either party has ever developed in the history of this country.”

September 26, 2016 02:51
4 minute read.

David Friedman speaking to Israeli settler delegation.

David Friedman speaking to Israeli settler delegation.

Donald Trump would fight "eternally" to keep Jews in Judea and Samaria if he makes it to the White House, according to one of the Republican contender’s top advisors.

“The Republican platform on Israel is the strongest that either party has ever developed in the history of this country,” Trump’s aid on Israeli affairs David Friedman.

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During a closed door meeting with Israelis two weeks ago, Friedman spoke of the unprecedented support that Trump intends to provide to the Jewish state should he be elected president of the United States in November. Evidence of that support, he said, can be seen in the significant changes made to the Republican party’s platform this year.

“I would invite people to compare 2016 to 2012. There is no longer any reference to a two-state solution. There is an affirmative statement that Israel is not an occupier with respect to Judea and Samaria.

“There is a commitment to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the Jewish people. We’ll move the embassy there. When this platform was passed, the evangelical community, not only did they get up and clap, they were actually crying. They thought this was a day they would never see,” Friedman told the visiting delegation from the Samaria Region of the West Bank.

The group of settlers, led by Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, had been on a mission to Washington and New York. They meet with Republican and Democratic politicians to solicit support for Judea and Samaria and to campaign against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

In Hemstead, New York the group met with Friedman and attended a special ceremony to mark the signing of a sister city pact between the town and the Samaria Regional Council. Just before flying to the US, Dagan had called on Americans living in Israel to vote for Trump.

Friedman told the delegation that the Republican party had changed its stance on Israel for the better thanks to the efforts of the Orthodox Jews and the Christian evangelical community.

Former Republican president George Bush, had been a friend of Israel, Friedman said. But the same time, he was “the first president to declare that there was a national imperative for there to be a two-state solution," Friedman recalled.

So in the past, he said, those who supported Jewish settlement of Judea and Samaria were fighting the Republicans as well as the Democrats.

Friedman recalled for the group the video in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the Palestinians wanted to “ethnically cleanse” the West Bank of Jews. “There are 400,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria. To create a Judenrein state in the ancestral home of the Jewish people, is something that believe it or not Hillary would endorse tomorrow,” Friedman said.

“We will fight eternally to keep that from happening,” he added.
David Friedman taking issue with the conventional demographic wisdom that a two-state solution was necessary to maintain Israel as a Jewish and democratic state

Friedman also took issue with the conventional demographic wisdom which said that a two-state solution was necessary to maintain Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

“Under most calculations if you took the entire state of Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, meaning you annexed all of Judea and Samaria into Israel, the Jewish population would still be about 65%,” Friedman said.

“So the idea that if Jews somehow retain control over Judea and Samaria, it is no longer at Jewish state, its not true, those are not the numbers. “It is easy to confuse people with numbers. If you study the numbers you will see that the whole idea that we have to jettison Judea and Samaria to maintain the Jewish characteristics of Israel, it’s just not true,” he said.

In addition to the support for Judea and Samaria, a Trump presidency would further improve ties between America and the Jewish state.

“There is an opportunity for the first time in the history of this country to have a a relationship between the US and Israel where Israel is no longer treated as a client state,” Friedman said.

In the past, he said, aid for Israel was given with the expectation of receiving something in return.

With Trump, he said, it would be “more in the nature of a partnership where we are both on the front lines, Israel frankly, more than the United States, in a joint battle against radical Islam.

“In that context the last thing the Untied States would want is for Israel to be weakened,” he said. “Israel helps us as much as we help Israel,” said Friedman, adding that the strategic relationship between the two countries was “essential to keep America safe and not just Israel safe.”

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