US envoy to Israel David Friedman speaks at a business event in Ariel yesterday, the first ever official visit by a sitting American ambassador to a West Bank settlement. Under past American administrations, US ambassadors have not been allowed to cross the pre-1967 lines, much less visit the West Bank. But the Trump administration has a very different approach to the settlements. From the moment Friedman arrived, he made condolence calls there and visited the Western Wall. This is the first time, however, that he went to a settlement to attend an official conference as a representative of the US government.
At the invitation of the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce, I met in Ariel with Palestinian & Israeli business leaders ready, willing & able to advance joint opportunity & peaceful coexistence. People want peace & we are ready to help! Is the Palestinian leadership listening? pic.twitter.com/g91fGHNDzF— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) October 16, 2018