Donald Trump’s first ten days in office have resulted in a whirlwind of policies that have led to major protests, from blocking refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, to ordering a wall built on the US-Mexico border, to moving forward with the Keystone and the Dakota Access Pipelines, to name just a few.
Amid his flurry of Executive Orders, you may have missed the fact that on Inauguration Day, Trump formally submitted to the Senate his nomination of David Friedman to be US Ambassador to Israel.
In case you haven’t heard of Friedman, here’s what you need to know:
He personally identifies with Israel’s illegal colonization of Palestinian land and raises millions of dollars each year to fund an Israeli settlement.
He opposes Palestinian exercising sovereignty over any portion of their historic homeland and speaks approvingly of Israel’s annexation of the West Bank.
And he’s an ardent advocate of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognizing Israel’s claims to sovereignty over the entire contested city.
These extremist views and actions contradict decades of stated bipartisan US policy. Our ambassador to Israel must uphold US opposition to Israeli settlements, not represent Israel’s settler movement.
Here are a few select quotes illustrating Friedman’s extremist views:
- The idea of a Palestinian state is a “damaging anachronism. It is a discussion of an illusory solution in search of a non-existent problem.” Friedman conspiratorially holds that US support for Palestinian statehood is part of a “scam” designed to “access the wealth of the Persian Gulf.”
- “As a general rule, we should expand a community in Judea and Samaria,” Friedman writes, using the Biblical terms for the West Bank, “just like in any other neighborhood anywhere in the world. Until that becomes the primary consideration for development, how can we expect to be taken seriously that this is our land?”
- According to Friedman, President Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry were guilty of “engaging in ‘blatant anti-Semitism’” because, in his view, they did “little more than condemn the proverbial ‘cycle of violence.’”
And this is just the tip of the iceberg of Friedman’s extremism. For additional reasons why Friedman should be disqualified from serving as US Ambassador to Israel, please check out our new policy memorandum.
Thank you for contacting your Senators to oppose David Friedman’s nomination to be Ambassador to Israel.
P.S.: In these troubling times, it’s important for us to lift up our victories. Throughout January, thousands of you contacted your Senators to oppose S.Res.6, a resolution objecting to the Obama administration’s abstention on UN Security Council Resolution 2334 reiterating the illegality of Israeli settlements.
According to media reports, as many as four Democratic Senators have placed holds on this resolution, preventing it from coming to a vote. Find out if your Senators have cosponsored this bill and let them know your thoughts on it.