Turkish and Israeli officials meet in Jerusalem to plan Herzog’s visit
Congressman: Trump envoy’s memoir presents ‘defamatory’ account of our meeting
Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal accuses former President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, of presenting an ‘unequivocal account’ of a meeting they held in 2018 in his new book ‘Sledgehammer’ , which was released earlier this month.
In Friedman’s account, the former envoy met with a congressional delegation visiting Israel organized by the Middle East peace lobby J Street.
Friedman writes that Jayapal opened the meeting by linking his experience of visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum with his visit to the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, which is to be demolished by Israel.
“I certainly have a good idea of the tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people…and I have to say that [in Khan al-Ahmar] Israel is committing a war crime,” Friedman recalled as saying.
The envoy continues to tear at the congresswoman for tying the two issues together. “I turned to the leader of J Street, then to the congresswoman: ‘You have been poorly served by your tour guides.’ And I walked out,” Friedman writes.
In a statement to The Times of Israel, Jayapal said Friedman’s account is “deeply disturbing.”
“As contemporaneous notes corroborate, the Holocaust was not a topic of discussion and Mr. Friedman did not storm out of the meeting,” she said.
“The slanderous account is particularly infuriating because, while it was clear that our views differed, it was a generally long and respectful meeting that ended cordially as most meetings of this nature do. Ms. Friedman to sow false controversy does nothing but undermine his own credibility,” adds Jayapal, saying she would not allow Friedman to undermine his efforts to work towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.