During an interview on Friday, the new US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides told reporters that he had never been to a Jewish town in Judea and Samaria (which he referred to as the ‘West Bank’) and had no intention of doing so. When asked about the reasons for this position he responded:
“Because just like I ask both the Palestinians and Israelis not to take steps that inflame the situation, I don’t want to do things intentionally that would create disrespect or anger among people.
“Now, listen, I’ll make mistakes. I’ll say things that will aggravate people. I’m sure that in this interview, I’ll say something that will aggravate someone. But I don’t want to intentionally anger people,” he said, adding, “When it comes to Israel, I have no ideology. All I care about is that Israel will remain a strong, democratic and Jewish state.”.
Nides is a strong advocate of the “two-state solution” which calls for establishing an unprecedented Palestinian state inside the borders of Israel that has been ethnically cleansed of Jews with its exclusively Muslim capital in Jerusalem.
“My support for a two-state solution — a solution that President Biden of course supports — my support for the well-being of the Palestinian people, all of this stems from the belief that Israel will be strengthened this way,” Nides said, emphasizing that President Biden’s support for the agenda was “in actions, not just words.”
“Does this mean that we will renew the peace process tomorrow? No. We care about the fate of the region, but we do not raise expectations that something will be able to happen tomorrow,” Nides said.
Though Nides was born Jewish, he emphasized that the focus of his job as a representative of the Biden administration would not be on Israel.
“The Biden administration believes it must take care of the Palestinian people,” Nides said. “That is the difference between us and the Trump administration.”
When asked if he had met with the Palestinian Authority leaders, Nides said that he had not crossed the “green line” (i.e. the 1967 ceasefire demarcation). Though technically accurate, his answer was not truthful. Nides has met with many Arab leaders and his embassy staff has “crossed the green line” to meet with representatives of the Palestinian Authority.
Though Nides was born Jewish and his father was active in the Jewish community, Nides married to Virginia Carpenter Moseley, the senior vice president of newsgathering for CNN, who is not Jewish in an ecumenical ceremony and has attended church with her. They have two children who are not considered Jewish according to Jewish law.