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The conflict between Israel and Hamas continues as a second front between Israel and Hezbollah opens up in Lebanon. Increasing skirmishes are causing many to warn about a wider conflict in the Middle East that could involve Iran. In this episode, we speak to former US ambassador to Israel, David Friedmann, who was instrumental in bringing peace to the Middle East. Friedmann offers his analysis of the conflict and how the Biden administration's policies are prolonging it. I'm DailyWire Editor-in-Chief John Bickley. It's June ninth, and this is a Sunday edition of MorningWire.


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The following is a conversation between Daily Wire reporter Tim pierce and David Friedmann, former US ambassador to Israel under the Trump administration.


All right, Ambassador Friedmann, thanks for joining us.


Sure. My pleasure.


There have been escalations in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah. The Biden administration has cautioned that the fighting there could prompt Iran to join in and lead to a much larger regional conflict. What are your thoughts on how Israel should engage in Lebanon?


Israel is getting cummled right now in Lebanon. The whole northern part of the country is on fire. Eighty thousand Israelis have been evacuated from their homes. It's not livable anymore in the northern part of the country because of these attacks. Israel never attacked Lebanon. If you remember, Israel was attacked by Hamas. Israel responded to that and found itself on the receiving end. So there's absolutely no justification whatsoever for accessible to even be in this fight. It is based on Iran. The sanctions on Iran should be strengthened materially. Iran's GDP per capita has double what it was when we left office. Usually, it takes a country like 20 years to double their GDP per capita. It's all because America took its foot off the sanctions. So the short answer to your question is Biden needs to put pressure on the bad guys, on the enemies of Israel, the enemies of America. And if it can't, then it should just get out of the way and let Israel defeat Hezbollah as quickly and decisively as it can. But all I'm seeing now is pressure being put on the wrong party.


So the Biden administration has told Israel that a limited war or small regional war in Lebanon isn't realistic. What are your thoughts on the Biden administration's warnings?


It may not be realistic, but then the Biden administration has got to do something about it. They have leverage over Iran. As I said, they're allowing Iran to sell oil into the markets to participate in the financial systems in ways that we never did. And so there needs to be a message to Iran, number one, to stay out, number two, to tell Fesbola to stay out, and to have some a ceasefire where people can live in quiet. In the north, it's totally untenable. I mean, this is a war initiated by Hezbollah against people who were not threatening Lebanon at all. And so it might very well escalate, but if it does, Biden ought to look in the mirror at the policies that he's advanced towards Hezbollah and Iran and change those policies very quickly.


Do you think a full-scale war between Israel and Hezbollah is inevitable?


I hope not. I mean, it's not going to achieve anything for either side. I don't believe, meaning I don't think that Israel can totally destroy Hezbollah, and I know that Hezbollah can't destroy Israel. So it will be what it's been in the past, which is a rapid exchange of very lethal artillery that will will hopefully come to a swift end. But I think this time around, I think Israel is just out of patience at this point with being attacked from its neighbors. And so I think that there will be pressure from within Israel to end this war as quickly and decisively as possible, which means that maybe the last place you'd want to be anywhere in the world once this starts is in Lebanon. And again, it is stoppable with a strong America projecting its leadership and its pressure and its leverage in this region. But Biden either is unwilling or has no idea how to do it.


On Biden's approach to the conflict, how has Biden's evolving policy toward Israel impacted the war with Hamas?


I think it's been one mistake after another. I think the first couple of days, he said the right things. I think that initial visit sent a good message. But ever since the domestic politics have heated up and his base has turned against them, what Biden has done is really, first of all, he's tried to thread an unthreadable needle. He's tried to be on both sides of this issue. And there's only one side. I mean, the only one side is to stand with Israel. What he's tried to do is to, on the one hand, back Israel, and then on the other hand, to push for a ceasefire, which under these circumstances would mean a victory of Hamas. He's helped Israel. Then he said he's going to hold back on weapons. He's sending mixed signals all the time. And the worst of all things is he announces a deal that is very unclear that Israel ever offered. And he He literally begs Hamas to take it. So you're taking this vile individual like Yahia Sinuar, who one of the worst people on the face of the Earth, one of the most brutal killers on the face of the Earth.


And this guy is now getting on the news and the most powerful person on Earth, nominally the most powerful person, at least, is saying to him, You're really important to me. You're really important to us. I really would like you to take this deal. And the guy can't believe his luck. He can't believe the leverage he's got over the world. And if you think that's going the hostages out, it's going to cause him to retain the hostages as long as possible because the leverage he's getting is incredible. Look, the war has been mismanaged. If Biden had just gotten up on day one and said, We stand with Israel. Israel has been attacked in a brutal fashion. We trust Israel. They're one of the most ethical armies in the world. We know they're doing their best to avoid civilian casualties. We stand with them. We'll give them what they need to help defeat their enemies. That would have ended the war a lot faster. It would have strengthened Israel's relationship with its Arab neighbors, and it would have caused this war. All the people at all the campuses would have moved on by now to their next Marxist item on the agenda.


I think it's been grossly mishandled by Biden since the first week of the war.


Given some of the political conflicts inside the Democratic Party, how would you advise Biden on his approach to Israel today?


Look, his instincts were good the first couple of days, and then he let the politics take over. The right politics here, first of I'm not an expert on democratic politics, but I do believe there are still more Democrats that support Israel than those who support radical Islamic terrorists. I think that's really the fight here. I think he could have framed it that way and could have said, Look, we're going to help Israel win this war. It's important for Israel. It's important for the region. It's important for America because these enemies are America's enemies as well. I think if it had maintained that consistent position, I think it would have been fine. What he's done is he sent Lincoln and Austin and the Sullivan So back and forth to Israel every couple of weeks into the war cabinet to micromanage the war, to tell Israel what weapons they can use and what they can't use. They're doing a lot more on the ground and a lot less by air, which is not the best way to fight a war, not the best way to win a war. So all these things that he's doing have just prolonged the misery of the Palestinians, of the Israelis empowered Hamas.


I think he's making Hamas stronger every day. But that's not winning him any votes. It's really not. The people that hate him because he's not considering this to be genocide, which, of course, it's not, those people are going to hate him anyway. I'm not sure who else they're going to vote for, but they'll hate him anyway. But the rest of the country is looking for real leadership here, and they're not getting it.


On leadership, has anyone in the Middle East stepped up and offered help to govern a post-conflict Gaza? Would the Palestinian Authority, the PA, be a viable option?


Well, there is a reality that Hamas stays in Gaza. It's called the Biden reality. It's the reality by which Biden is trying to push Israel to make a deal now where they will withdraw off from Gaza and get hostages back, maybe. And Hamas has rejected the deal because they say, We want Israel out permanently. We want to remain in control. I don't think Israel will ever allow for that. I think Hamas will ultimately be sufficiently degraded where they don't have control and won't regain control. And then the question is, who's offering to help? I'm not hearing a lot of offers right now from the rest of the world. Biden wants the PA to come in. It's a nonstarter. The PA lacks both the will and the skill to run They're deeply reviled by the Palestinians, generally. They just don't have the ability either. And they're entirely corrupt and anti-Israel and anti-American. So that's not a solution. It's going to be Israel because Israel can't afford another security breach like they had the last time. So everybody's pressuring Israel for what happens the day after. After the hostilities end, who's willing to come in and help?


And so far, until people start making some realistic proposals, I'm not sure it's fair to blame Israel for not having a fully baked plan for the day after. I think Israel would love help, but not getting it.


Let's say Israel is able to root out Hamas. As you said, nobody is offering to come in and control Gaza. What would it look like for Israel to rule Gaza?


Well, look, it's going to look a little bit like 1967 to 2005, when Israel was in military control of Gaza. But in the short run, it's going to be much more labor-intensive because there's just a very large radicalized population there. It It won't be fun. I mean, until there's a serious discussion about a post-Gaza world that doesn't require Israel to be the sole party in control, I'm not sure that Israel has any choice. I think it will require probably an extension of the draft It's an extension of those who are going to have to be included in the draft. It's going to require an extension of service responsibilities. It's going to be a hit to Israel. They don't want it. It's going to hurt the Israeli economy. People are going to have to leave their jobs for longer periods of time. It's not going to be good, but it's better than another October seventh. And that's really the choice Israel has right now.


So in the US, we've got the presidential election coming up in November. Let's say Donald Trump does win the presidency and takes control of the White House in January. What impact does that have on Israel and the Middle East, generally?


I think the relationship between the United States and the Gulf Nations will improve dramatically as well. I think it'll be a much better chance for normalization with Saudi Arabia because I remember the relationship I lived through them for four years. There was great respect within the Arab world for President Trump. They felt he was strong. They felt that he could be trusted, that when he made a commitment, he would live by it. Obviously, the Abraham Accord speaks for themselves. I think they'll be expanded, and I think we'll hopefully be able to look at this crisis in a new way. I can't imagine. I never would have imagined that since we left office, there would be this much damage done all around the world by the Biden administration. But the world was ruined quickly, and I think it could also be, to some extent, fixed quickly by some reversal of policies.


All right. So final question. There's been a lot of controversy and confusion over how the conflict in the Middle East is being covered in the media. What information can actually be trusted? What do you feel Americans need to know about the situation in the Middle East?


The most important thing is that the people of Israel are desperate for peace. They've always wanted peace. They've never sought to impose their will upon anyone else. They live in harmony with 2 million Arab citizens. Those Arabs have full civil rights within the country. The participation of the Arab Israeli community in Israeli universities, it's like 40% in University of Haifa, 20% in Tel Aviv University and Haifa University. The unemployment rate of the Arab society in Israel is the lowest in the Arab world. Israel wants to live in peace with his neighbors. Israel is being accused of genocide. If you look at the numbers, the The Palestinians in Gaza have increased like 20 fold. Since 1967, the Palestinians and the West Bank have increased like severe four fold. The Palestinian community in Israel have gone from like 150,000 to 2 million under Israeli rule. I don't think the world knows anything about Israel. I don't think the legacy media is doing anything to portray what the real Israel is. And as a result, people in America and throughout the world, Jews around the world are being threatened. They're getting beaten up. They're being threatened everywhere. Synagogues need to hire five or six guards every Saturday for services.


It's all because the legacy media refuses to tell the right story about Israel. I wish that they would do some work and do some real diligence and get these stories right.


All right, Ambassador Friedmann, we really appreciate the time. Thanks for coming on.


My pleasure. Thank you. Take care.


That was Daily Wire reporter Tim pierce and former US ambassador to Israel, David Friedmann. This has been a Sunday edition of Morning Wire.