This week, the new American ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, gave The Jerusalem Post his first major interview since embarking on this new career. In it, Friedman spoke of the United States' shared concerns with its greatest ally, Israel, and said the U.S. is "extraordinarily receptive" to Israel's concerns about Iran:
“They’re obviously unanimously of the view that the vacuum created by the defeat of ISIS cannot result in the presence of Iranian military bases,” Friedman said, adding that the issue of how to get ”the right result” was still a work in progress that involves a number of other players, including the Russians, Jordanians and Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“I think that the Americans fully support the Israeli objectives,” he said, unwilling to discuss, however, how this objective of keeping Iran out of a post-civil war Syria can be reached. “But at least from a macro perspective, the Americans and Israelis are of the same mind.” Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process, Friedman said that the Trump administration was “trying very hard not to repeat the mistakes of the past.”
Rather, Friedman said that the Trump administration was trying to approach the issue “from a forward- looking perspective, and we’re just trying to create something that would be a win-win for Israel and the Palestinians.
“If it is not good for both, it’s not going to get done, so we’re trying to find ways to make sure that each side looks at the opportunity versus the present and concludes that the opportunity is better than the present,” he said. “We’re very sensitive to all the things that go into the calculus, and we’re trying to find the right place where both sides can say, ‘We’re better off jumping into this pool than staying where we are...’”