Tag: David Friedman

US ambassador to Israel sits in on special envoy’s meeting with Palestinians, marking a policy shift

(JTA) — The State Department characterized the inclusion of the U.S. ambassador to Israel in meetings with Palestinian officials as an “upgrading” in relations.

David Friedman joined Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, at a meeting Tuesday with Palestinian officials in Jerusalem. The Palestinian peace negotiators reportedly requested that the meeting be held in Jerusalem because they did not want Friedman, a supporter of Israeli settlements and the U.S. official tapped to deal with Israel, to come to Ramallah, the capital of the Palestinian Authority.

Including Friedman marks a shift in U.S. policy in…

Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt meets with families of Israelis held in Gaza

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, met with the families of Israelis believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.

Greenblatt, who arrived in Israel this week, met Monday evening with the families of Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed to discuss the situation of the two men, a statement from the White House said. The family of Jumaa Abu Ghanima, was unable to attend the meeting.

Greenblatt “expressed outrage that Hamas has not allowed the Israelis, some of whom may need medical assistance, to communicate with their families and return home,” according…

US envoy David Greenblatt to meet with Ambassador David Friedman in Israel

(JTA) — Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, is returning to Israel.

Greenblatt was scheduled to leave the United States for Israel Sunday evening, according to a White House official. The official said Greenblatt is heading to Israel to meet with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

“While the primary purpose of his trip is to meet with the ambassador now that the ambassador is on the ground and fully installed in his position, Greenblatt will also likely be taking meetings relevant to both the Israelis and the Palestinians,” the official said, calling the…

Netanyahu counsels ‘patience and perseverance’ in Western Wall controversy

(JTA) — Speaking at a July 4 celebration, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was committed to making “every Jew feel at home” at the Western Wall.

“I remain committed to making every Jew at home in Israel, including at the Kotel,” Netanyahu said Monday at July 4 celebrations at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, using the Hebrew term for one of the holiest sites in Judaism. “All we need is patience and perseverance.”

Netanyahu drew strong condemnations last week from the American Jewish leadership for freezing, after pressure from Haredi Orthodox parties, a government…

White House uses ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ in live feed of Trump visit

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The White House used the term “Jerusalem, Israel” in a live video feed of President Donald Trump’s visit to the city, a departure from the policies of past administrations.

The caption appeared on the video feed of Monday’s news conference at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence. It came as Trump administration officials continue to differ over whether to describe the contested city as being part of Israel, and as Israeli officials urge the White House to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Obama administration at least twice – in