In an interview on Israeli media, Ambassador David Friedman expressed faith in PM Netanyahu’s seriousness regarding a peace deal.

Friedman at AIPAC

Friedman at AIPAC Screenshot from YouTube

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman says he is “pretty confident” that a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians can be negotiated.

In an interview with Hadashot news that aired on Wednesday, Friedman said he believes the Palestinians are capable of pressuring their leadership to move forward on a deal with Israel. “I think that if we are able to propose something over the next few months that offers a better, more optimistic, more promising future to the Palestinian people, … I believe that, if people are interested in this, the leadership will have no choice but to pursue it.”

Friedman said he is “concerned and disturbed” by recent remarks made by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, including personal insults directed at him, but added, “I have a very thick skin.”

When asked whether he thinks Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be willing to make concessions to the Palestinians, Friedman said, “If (Netanyahu) thinks what’s being proposed is in the best interest of Israel in its totality, I have no doubt that he will move in that direction.”

Dismissing the claims that the US is biased in favor of Israel and cannot act as an honest broker, Friedman said, “We are incredibly close to Israel, … they’re one of our most important allies, but that doesn’t mean we cannot help bring the parties to a peace deal.”