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Sturdy Views and ‘Near the Boss’: How U.S. Envoy Reshaped a Battle

Earlier administrations, he stated, had struggled merely to carry the Palestinians to the bargaining desk. Ready for the Palestinians to comply with talks earlier than transferring ahead gave them a veto over the method, Mr. Friedman stated, which solely inspired them to undertake unreasonable calls for.

“A flood of refugees into Israel? By no means going to occur,” he stated. “Dividing Jerusalem? It’s simply by no means going to occur. Israel giving up sure elements of its biblical heartland? By no means going to occur.”

He stated the White Home had “injected a tremendously wanted dose of realism into the Palestinian psyche about what’s achievable and what’s not.”

The Palestinians beg to vary.

Husam Zomlot, who headed the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington till it was closed, stated Mr. Friedman’s sense of his accomplishments was delusional. Removed from enhancing American affect on the battle, he stated, Mr. Friedman had decreased it almost to nil, all however destroying hopes for a two-state answer.

“He was the American mob in our Capitol,” he stated, alluding to the latest riot in Washington. “Identical logic, similar conduct. That’s Friedman. And simply as Congress did, the Biden administration should wipe the ground of U.S.-Palestinian relations and the peace course of utterly clear.”

Mr. Friedman asserted that the Trump peace plan, by setting necessities of monetary transparency, human rights and different norms for the Palestinians to realize statehood, was really “a present to the Palestinian individuals” that may make their “high quality of life much more bearable.” Israel’s warming relations with Arab states, he contended, would “open up the creativeness of the Palestinians to what might be.”

He additionally insisted that the Trump administration by no means sought to help Mr. Netanyahu’s re-election campaigns — although its recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, to call one plum broadly perceived as a marketing campaign reward, got here simply two weeks earlier than the primary of these votes.

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