National/World

David Friedman: Rollout of Trump’s peace deal ‘not imminent’

(JTA) – U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that a rollout of the Trump administration’s peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians is “not imminent.” “I would imagine that we will roll something out. I hesitate even to put a month on it because it has shifted as we continue to listen and talk to people,” Friedman told American Jewish Congress members in a telephone briefing Though the briefing on Wednesday, August 29 reportedly was off the record, at least two news outlets reported on its contents.

Friedman also clarified that President Donald Trump has not demanded that Israel do anything in return for his administration’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. “I was there when the [Jerusalem] decision was made. I was there watching it and advocating for it in real time. There is not and there never was any demand made of Israel that they do anything in exchange for the embassy move,” Friedman said on the call, according to the Jewish Insider. He also said: “The President feels that if the parties are lucky enough to be sitting in a room and making progress, he might say to the Israelis, ‘Look what we did for you. Is there something more that you could do?’ It’s not that he has something specific in mind, but just that … the United States has engaged in really significant good-faith efforts to strengthen Israel and strengthen its historical multi-thousand-year connection to Jerusalem, maybe the Israelis could make it clear by leaning in a little bit as well. That’s all it meant …”

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