U.S. Ambassador To Israel Asked State Dept. To Stop Using The Word ‘Occupation’ by the Forward

U.S. Ambassador To Israel Asked State Dept. To Stop Using The Word ‘Occupation’

Image by Forward Montage

The United States’ ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, tried earlier this year to get the State Department to stop using the word “occupation” when referring to Israel’s presence in the West Bank.

As first reported by the Israeli Broadcasting Authority on Tuesday, Friedman asked career diplomats at the State Department to seek alternatives for the terms “occupation” and “Israeli-occupied territories.” He suggested using the term “West Bank,” which Friedman described as more neutral.

Friedman’s request was initially turned down by officials at the State Department, but upon his insistence, the department agreed to discuss the issue.

A State Department official said in response that there is no change in U.S. policy regarding the West Bank, and a spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Israel called the report “misleading” and “twisted.”

Since being appointed by President Trump to serve as U.S. ambassador to Israel, Friedman has made clear that his views don’t always fall in line with long-standing State Department policies. He argued in an interview that Israel only occupies only two percent of the West Bank, and has refused to embrace a two-state solution as the preferred outcome for negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman

Authors

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

David Friedman Asked State To Stop Saying ‘Occupation’

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

U.S. Ambassador To Israel Asked State Dept. To Stop Using The Word ‘Occupation’

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close