U.S. envoy Friedman knocks Oslo, says hand open to Palestinian people

“To all the Palestinian friends who are here, the US is with you, the people of the US are with you, the President of the US is with you,” Friedman said.

February 22, 2019 09:02
2 minute read.
U.S. envoy Friedman knocks Oslo, says hand open to Palestinian people

U.S. Ambassador in Israel David Melech Friedman . (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman knocked the 1993 Oslo Accords and said his hand was open to the Palestinian people, when he spoke in Jerusalem on Thursday at a joint Israeli-Palestinian business forum sponsored by the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce.
“To all the Palestinian friends who are here, the US is with you, the people of the US are with you, the President of the US is with you,” Friedman said.
He spoke of his support for the grassroots initiative that brings together settlers and Palestinian in the West Bank in joint business ventures, which was started last year.
“To my Israeli friends, I say the same. We are all with you, together to support you in new out-of-the-box thinking, to build a safe and more prosperous world for Israeli and Palestinians alike,” Friedman said.
The gathering comes at a time when there are no relations between the US and the Palestinian Authority. The US has cut most of its funding to the PA, and the PA in turn has rejected all US funding, including for humanitarian projects. In a climate with few opportunities for cooperation, Israeli-Palestinian public meetings are rare.
But on Thursday, Friedman’s comments made it seem as if settlers, who are often portrayed as a stumbling block to the peace process, are now leading the way in an arena with few opportunities for joint cooperation.
“There is far more that unites us than divides us,” Friedman said, adding that in the Bible, Isaac and Ishmael reconciled their differences. “Obviously, we should do no less,” he added.
Such initiatives as the economic one he discussed are not a substitute for a political resolution to the conflict, he said, adding the political process is more complex.
“To hold the Palestinian hostage to a political solution, when humanitarian and business efforts are right in front of us, is grave mistake and a grave disservice to the Palestinian people,” Friedman said. “We all recall the Oslo Accords of 1993. The Oslo Accords were signed the next year. There was an increase in terrorism four-fold.
“Why? Because pieces of paper do not make peace. Relationships make peace. Investments make peace. That is the kind of peace that is enduring,” Friedman continued.
He said that the political process will continue, and that the US is hopeful that there will likewise be progress on the political front. But a delay in political progress should not mean a delay in assistance to the “Jews and Palestinians in Judea and Samaria,” Friedman said.
“The Palestinian people deserve better,” he added. “Enough of the endless political bickering that has brought nothing but misery. Let us work together for all our people. Let us make real peace with each other.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Palestinians cross into Israel (illustrative).
April 22, 2019
COGAT prepares for Ramadan, increased freedom of religion and worship