Ambassador David Friedman of the United States to Israel


The Difference Between “Retaining” and “Annexing” Territory
Herb Keinon
Jerusalem Post, June 12, 2019Before becoming US ambassador to Israel in 2017, David Friedman was a bankruptcy lawyer with the Manhattan firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman – and a highly successful one at that. As such, he understands the significance of words, that words matter. In his interview on Saturday with The New York Times, Friedman was quoted as saying, “Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank.”The salient word here is “retain” – that Israel has the right to “retain” some of the territories. In the words quoted in the Times article, Friedman never uttered the word “annex,” which is significant, because annex has different, more far-reaching implications.

In the debate over what will be the final resolution of the territories occupied and annexed by Jordan in 1948 and held by Israel since 1967, many words and expressions are used, such as “retain territory,” “apply sovereignty,” “extend Israeli law,” and “annexation.”

Though the words have different legal meanings, they are often used interchangeably – and that is where the confusion sets in. For instance, The New York Times online headline to the Friedman interview read: “US Ambassador Says Israel Has Right to Annex Parts of West Bank,” even though Friedman did not use the word “annex.” The Jerusalem Post story about the interview also used the word “annex” in the headline and the first paragraph, even though Friedman did not utter that word.

According to Alan Baker – former legal adviser at the Foreign Ministry who today serves as director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs – there is a difference: a distinction between retaining territories, applying Israel law, jurisdiction and administration over territories, and annexing territories. … To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

On Topic Links

What Did David Friedman Say That Was New?:  Dore Gold, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, June 12, 2019 –— It is hard to understand the outrage in Ha’aretz in response to U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, who voiced support for Israel retaining a portion of the West Bank.
The Bahrain Conference Represents A Great Opportunity For Peace: Lt. Col. (Res) Maurice Hirsch, JNS, June 10, 2019 — While details regarding the upcoming U.S.-initiated “economic workshop” in Bahrain are sparse, one can only hope that it will focus on what is probably the most fundamental obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians: the Palestinian refugee issue.
WATCH: Amb. Friedman Under Fire After Annexation Comments:  World Israel News, June 11, 2019 — U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has been attacked for saying that Israel has rights to Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people’s historical homeland.
Is It Too Late To Stop Iran’s Permanent Presence In Syria?:  Eric R. Mandel, Jerusalem Post,  June 11, 2019 — The national security advisers of Russia, the United States, and Israel are scheduled to meet in Jerusalem later this month for what former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro called a potential “game changer on pushing Iran’s military out of Syria.”


 “Since King David made Jerusalem the capital of the Kingdom of Israel 3,000 years ago, the Jews have always lived in, built and defended the Holy City. … For the last 52 years, Jerusalem has been a city that champions and protects religious freedom and the right of all worshipers to pray in peace. This reality, unique in our region, exists only in the Jewish and democratic Israel.” – Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN Danny Danon wrote calling on the international community to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He responded to a complaint against Israel filed with the Security Council by Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour, who called for the establishment of a Palestinian state, with a capital in East Jerusalem.  (Algemeiner, June 11, 2019)

“We’re not talking here about a specific issue regarding a wall, an elevator.  We’re talking about a fundamental issue: … Who’s in charge of the Cave of the Patriarchs? … I was amazed to hear that we are negotiating with the Palestinian Authority, granting the Palestinian Authority a legal standing that it doesn’t have.” – Likud MK and former Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar said at a Knesset meeting regarding whether, when, and how to make the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me’arat Hamachpelah) handicapped-accessible. Sa’ar noted that “according to the agreements” the Cave of the Patriarchs is under Israeli control and that the PA’s refusal to cooperate is not new.  (Arutz Sheva, June 12, 2019)

“There was a cohesive plan to manufacture nuclear weapons, and when and after the plan was halted, the IAEA was not provided, as was stated by Iran, with full disclosure of the past nuclear program.”– the former deputy at the International Atomic Energy Agency Olli Heinonem told the IAEA. He went on to say that the IAEA “has been deceived as late as 2015,” adding that there are “strong indications” that Iran is in breach of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as well as of other nonproliferation agreements. “What should be done? First of all, the IAEA should go visit these places,” he said, referring to the warehouse in Tehran’s Turquzabad district. “It might also be advisable at this point in time to freeze the remaining documents,” he said of the nuclear warehouse. “Put it under IAEA seal, until investigations are over and understanding about the purpose and the scope these documents has been established. And then perhaps destroy them, remove them.”  (Times of Israel, June 6, 2019)

“I can no longer show my face on the street. “– French celebrity philosopher, Alain Finkielkraut told the magazine Marieanne after protesters nearly prevented him from speaking at a Paris university. Finkielkraut, a best-selling author and retired university history professor at the prestigious École Polytechnique in Paris, as well as an outspoken supporter of Israel,  has been accosted repeatedly by street protesters in violation of the law and the unwritten pact between French society and its brightest minds. (JTA, June 11, 2019)

“I am not afraid.” – Moroccan-born French Muslim activist Latifa Ibn Ziaten told French media outlets, one day after she awoke to discover that her house in the city of Rouen had been daubed with slogans including, “Dirty Jew,” and, “Jew Soon Dead.” Ibn Ziaten’s son, Sgt. Ibn Ziaten was the first of Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah’s victims during an eight-day killing spree in Toulouse.  (Algemeiner, June 11, 2019)

… we called on Omar to more fully explain her travel and other expenses. We noted that the allegations “suggest a pattern of carelessness and/or self-dealing with legally restricted funds. Neither conclusion inspires the confidence voters deserve to have in someone they send to the U.S. House to represent them.” – Editorial, in response to a ruling by the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board that Dem. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar violated eight Minnesota campaign-finance laws that will cost her nearly $3,500 in reimbursements and civil penalties. “So complex were the allegations that the state Campaign Finance Board spent nearly a year assessing the case, deposing staff people and former staff people, along with Omar herself.”  (Star Tribune, June 11, 2019)

“The Review is broad in scope and multifaceted and is intended to illuminate open questions regarding the activities of U.S. and foreign intelligence services as well as non-governmental organizations and individuals.” — Justice Department official Stephen E. Boyd wrote in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, providing a summary of Attorney General William Barr’s DOJ review of surveillance against the Trump campaign. Nadler, a New York Democrat, had asked for details of the investigation, which is being led by John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut. (Daily Caller, June 10, 2019)


COURT EXPECTED TO CONVICT PRIME MINISTER’S WIFE SUNDAY (Jerusalem) – A plea deal and amended complaint in the Prepared Food Affair that the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, confessed to was filed with the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, bringing the four-year-long legal saga closer to a conclusion.  On Sunday, the court is expected to approve the plea bargain which will mark Sara Netanyahu with a criminal record, though as part of the deal the charges were reduced. (The Jerusalem Post, June 12, 2019)

FOR FIRST TIME AT UN, INDIA VOTES WITH ISRAEL AGAINST GROUP WITH TIES TO TERROR (New York) — India voted with Israel at the United Nations against granting observer status to a Palestinian human-rights organization named “Shahed.  The motion at the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was rejected by a 28-14 tally. (Jewish News Syndicate, June 11, 2019)

AMID POLITICAL TURMOIL, MOLDOVAN PM DECLARES EMBASSY MOVE TO JERUSALEM (Moldova) –Amid domestic political turmoil, Moldova declared its intention to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “Today we adopted the decision to relocate the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It was a long overdue commitment to support our allies,” tweeted Prime Minister Pavel Filip. (Israel Hayom, June 12, 2019)

FRENCH IMAM: ANTI-ZIONISM IS ANTISEMITISM (France) – French Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, currently heading a delegation of French Muslims in Israel, said that anti-Zionism is antisemitism, and blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for incitement against Jews in France and Belgium.  Chalghoumi is on his second visit to Israel, which has been organized by ELNET, an NGO dedicated to strengthening Europe-Israel relations and is leading a group of young Muslim political, media and social leaders from France and Belgium on a tour of the country. (The Jerusalem Post, June 12, 2019)

NON-JEWISH ARAB WEARING KIPPAH AND CARRYING KNIVES STOPPED IN ATTEMPT TO ENTER SYNAGOGUE (Antwerp) – The 34-year-old Iraqi citizen was questioned by guards when he tried to enter the Romi Goldmuntz Synagogue during the holiday of Shavuot. The man said he spoke neither Hebrew nor Yiddish but insisted he was a member of the city’s Jewish community. (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 11, 2019)

NON-JEWISH BRITISH SOLDIER WHO FOUGHT FOR ISRAEL IN 1948 DIES AT 97 (London) – Tributes have been paid to the non-Jewish soldier from Britain who went to fight for the new State of Israel in the 1948 War of Independence, and who later commanded Israel’s first paratrooper regiment.  Tom Derek Bowden, a South London cavalry officer was one of 5,000 foreigners who volunteered to fight for the nascent State of Israel from abroad. They became known by the Hebrew acronym ‘Machal.’ (Jewish News, June 11, 2019)

EXPLOSIVE NEW REPORT: UK COVERED UP HIZBULLAH TERROR PLOT NEAR LONDON (London) — British intelligence in 2015 caught an alleged Hezbollah terrorist stockpiling more than three tons of ammonium nitrate, a common ingredient in homemade bombs, on the outskirts of London, but never divulged the plot. (Israellycool, June 10, 2019)

FOR ANNE FRANK’S 90th BIRTHDAY, ‘DUELING’ VERSIONS OF HER DIARY PUBLISHED (Amsterdam) – To honor the 90th anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth in Germany, two publishers are offering end-all versions of the Holocaust victim’s diary. One volume assumes that Frank would have wanted people to read her more “mature,” but incomplete loose-leaf “manuscript” version of the diary, while the other makes space for nearly every sentence left to posterity in her diaries, manuscript, and short stories. (Times of Israel, June 11, 2019)

JAPAN’S PM ABE ARRIVES IN IRAN ON HISTORIC VISIT (Iran) — Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo arrived in Tehran on a mission to ease tensions between Iran and the U.S., becoming the first Japanese prime minister to visit since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. (Israel Hayom, June 12, 2019)

POLISH SOCCER ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES VICTORY OVER ISRAELI TEAM AS A ‘POGROM’ (Poland) — On its official Facebook page, the Polish Soccer Association described its team’s victory over Israel as a “pogrom.” The term, harking back to centuries of massacres perpetrated against Jews in Poland and throughout Europe, appeared on the page of the Polish Football Association, or PZPN, following a Euro qualifiers game in which Poland defeated Israel, 4-0. It was later removed. (JTA, June 11, 2019)

DROWNING OUT JEERS, POLISH SOCCER FANS APPLAUD ISRAELI ANTHEM (Poland) – Thousands of Polish soccer fans attending a match in Warsaw between their national team and Israel’s applauded during the playing of the Jewish state’s anthem.  When some fans began whistling during the playing of the Israeli anthem, the predominantly Polish crowd responded with applause that drowned out the whistling, the Israel Football Association wrote on Twitter. (Arutz Sheva, June 12, 2019)

FORD OPENS NEW RESEARCH CENTER IN TEL AVIV (Tel Aviv) — Ford Motor Co joined a growing number of major automakers and suppliers setting up shop in the Israeli tech hub as they race to develop self-driving cars.  With spiraling development costs for autonomous and connected cars in recent years, Ford and other carmakers have sought alliances and outside investors. (Algemeiner, June 12, 2019)

NEWLY FORMED BLACK-JEWISH CAUCUS GETS FIRST MEMBERS, FLURRY OF INTEREST (Washington) – A week after the launch of the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations, nearly 10 members of Congress are planning to join, have expressed interest in doing so, or are reviewing the group.  The creation of the Black-Jewish Caucus follows a January meeting with the American Jewish Committee’s National Leadership Council, where U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) spoke about the urgent need to bring together African Americans and Jews. (Jewish News Syndicate, June 11, 2019)

GOVERNMENT TAKEN TO COURT OVER FEDERAL ELECTION DATE (Toronto) – Two observant Jews, are taking the government to court to move the date of the upcoming federal election because it conflicts with a Jewish holiday.  Chani Aryeh-Bain, the Conservative candidate in the Toronto-area riding of Eglinton-Lawrence, and Ira Walfish, a community activist who lives in the York Centre riding, have filed an application in Federal Court to shift the voting day from Oct. 21, which falls on Shemini Atzeret, on Oct. 28. (Canadian Jewish News, June 12, 2019)

HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR MAX EISEN GIVEN KEY TO THE CITY OF VAUGHAN, ONT(Vaughan) – A survivor of Auschwitz, Eisen has travelled across the country to share his experiences with thousands of Canadians, speaking at schools, universities and to the media. He is a regular on the annual March of the Living, which takes students to the site of the Auschwitz death camp. (Canadian Jewish News, June 12, 2019)

VELVEL PASTERNAK, WHO WORKED TO PRESERVE JEWISH MUSICAL HERITAGE, DIES AT 86 (New York) – Musicologist and publisher Velvel Pasternak, who published more than 150 volumes of Jewish music, and conducted and arranged music, died in New York City at the age of 86.  He founded Tara Publications in 1971; its goal was the publication, preservation, and dissemination of the heritage of Jewish music. (Canadian Jewish News, June 12, 2019)