US Ambassador Thomas Nides (l) shakes hands with President Isaac Herzog after presenting his credentials at the president's residence in Jerusalem, Dec. 5, 2021. (AP/Tsafrir Abayov) (AP/Tsafrir Abayov)
Thomas Nides Isaac Herzog

“I will be pushing back aggressively on things that we disagree with,” Nides stated.

By Pesach Benson, TPS

US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides warned that Washington would oppose any Israeli steps to annex Judea and Samaria.

In comments made on Israel’s Kan News, aired on Thursday morning, Nides said that while he wants to work closely with Benjamin Netanyahu and his government, “We will stand up for the things we believe in. That’s what American values are about.

“We’re a very strong ally of Israel. But there will be times when we will articulate what we believe our differences are.”

One of the Religious Zionism party’s demands for joining Netanyahu’s coalition is for Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria to be governed by Israeli government ministries instead of by the IDF Civil Administration.

In response to a question about whether Washington is prepared to deal with right-wing MK Itamar Ben-Gvir in a senior Cabinet position, Nides said, “I’m not going to make draconian statements that I’m not ever going to talk to anyone. It doesn’t matter left or right. We’ll see who gets to be in these positions and what positions they take vis-a-vis their positions. I want to see rhetorically what they say and how they act.”

He added, “My job as the American ambassador is to keep dialogues going, conversations going, and push back on things that we disagree with. And I will be pushing back aggressively on things that we disagree with. But at this point, the government isn’t even formed.”