President-elect Donald Trump made a $10,000 donation to institutions in a West Bank settlement in 2003, a report published Sunday claims. Yaakov “Katzele” Katz, one of the founders of the settlement of Beit El, told an Israeli radio station that Trump made the donation to honor David Friedman, his personal friend and recently announced pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel. Friedman, who’s faced scrutiny since his nomination for his hardline stance on liberal U.S. Jews and a two-state solution in the Middle East, is president of the American Friends of Bet El Institutions. Trump reportedly made his donation at a gala dinner for Friedman. “If I would have known he would be elected president, I would have saved the check,” Katz was cited as telling the radio station. Trump has donated to numerous Jewish institutions over the years, but his donation to Beit El—also reported by The Jerusalem Post on Sunday—signals a sharp turnaround from the Obama administration’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While Trump and Friedman support the Israeli settlements, the Obama administration has often treated the settlements as obstacles to achieving peace between Palestine and Israel.
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