Trump’s Israel envoy pick brags of removing two-state solution

Washington, Feb 24 (IANS) US President Donald Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and his hardline views on Israeli-Palestinian relations, have come under scrutiny during his confirmation process, media reports said.

In a speech delivered by Friedman, he boasted of removing references of the two-state solution and occupation of the West Bank from the Republican Party platform, CNN reported.

He said it would be “ludicrous” to pressure Israel to make peace to create “another Arab dysfunctional state”.

On being questioned by Senators on the Foreign Relations committee, Friedman attempted to walk back and soften his positions on Israel, telling senators he believed in the two-state solution and that Israeli settlements — which he previously strongly supported — may not be helpful to the peace process.

Apologising for his comments, he said: “The inflammatory rhetoric that accompanied the presidential campaign is entirely over, and if I am confirmed, you can expect my comments to be careful and measured.”

Trump’s position on a two-state solution was called into question last week, when during a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said: “I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like.”