A senior adviser to Republican nominee Donald Trump met with officials from the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem this week, the PMO confirmed to The Times of Israel on Tuesday.
David Friedman, one of two Trump aides tasked with advising the presidential hopeful on Israel matters, was given a diplomatic-security briefing by Israeli officials, Haaretz newspaper said.
Friedman, an American lawyer who represented Trump’s interests over the years, is rumored to be Trump’s potential pick for US ambassador to Israel, should Trump win the White House in the November elections.
He told the media last month that Trump would back an undivided Jerusalem, and support Israel’s annexation of parts or all of the West Bank.
Friedman, who serves as Trump’s adviser on Israel along with Jason Dov Greenblatt, told Haaretz in June that Trump wouldn’t necessarily adopt the positions of previous American presidents in supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
The candidate, he stressed, did not see a Palestinian state as “an American imperative” in any way. “Trump’s position is that we have to deal with reality and not hopes and wishes,” Friedman said.
While Friedman was in Jerusalem on Tuesday, an Israeli official was dispatched to meet with representatives of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s staff.
A senior Israeli official told Haaretz that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear that he would work to avoid appearing partisan in the 2016 elections. Netanyahu came under fire in 2012 when he appeared to back US President Barack Obama’s ultimately unsuccessful challenger Mitt Romney.
Last month, Netanyahu told reporters he is being “very careful” not to get involved in the US presidential campaign.
Friedman also met with Israel’s Republicans Overseas organization and was given an outline of the group’s efforts to get American-Israelis to vote Trump in the upcoming election.