Former [Left-Wing] US Ambassadors To Israel Working To Block Friedman's Confirmation

Posted February 17, 2017

Friedman is a strong supporter of Israeli settlements and opposes Palestinian statehood.

Today (Thursday) in Washington, Pro-Palestinian protesters, some of whom were Jewish, disrupted the Senate hearing to confirm Trump's pick David Friedman as the new US Ambassador to Israel.

The stress they all "care deeply about Israel" as the US' major ally in the Mideast, but cite Mr. Friedman's political views as rendering him unsuited for the high-level diplomatic post. He said he will not campaign, support or advocate for Israel's annexation of the West Bank, which has always been considered the future home of a Palestinian state.

Friedman's nomination has drawn strong opposition from more liberan American-Jewish organizations and groups, including J Street whose members and backers he called "worse than kapos" - a reference to Jewish collaborators with Nazis - for their support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an op-ed previous year. "Anybody that wants to say the United States doesn't support a two-state solution, that would be an error".

"The UK continues to believe that the best solution for peace in the Middle East is the two-state solution", said British ambassador to the United Nations, Matthew Rycroft.

Trump's announcement appeared to loosen the main tenet of U.S. Middle Eastern policy dating back three administrations and stunned the global community, which has crafted it diplomacy based on the premise of a Palestinian state co-existing alongside Israel.

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On Wednesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu told reporters that he had asked Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, but did not describe the president's response. "I can live with either one".

"I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like", Trump said. Chuck Schumer and others about support for the Iran nuclear deal, Friedman said he regrets them. "I don't know Israelis on the right- even on the far-right- who would support that". "From my perspective, the inflammatory rhetoric used during the election campaign is entirely over and you should expect my comments to be respectful from now on".

"I have reached out over the last few months to a number of people who have been hurt by the things I have said", he said.

But the organization which suffered from his harshest criticisms, J Street, has not received a call.

After the hearing, J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami, when asked about Haley's remarks, told BuzzFeed News that he feels "sorry for anybody who has to serve this president in a foreign policy role".

While Friedman took several opportunities to express hope for peace, he also explained why he so frequently expressed skepticism throughout the campaign that such a peace can realistically come to pass. "To suggest that senators should vote against otherwise qualified nominees because of reasonable policy differences is to take the confirmation process to a new partisan low", noted David Brog, CUFI's founding executive director and an active member of CUFI's Board of Directors. "All evidence of his political positions and life's work until today indicate that he will continue to align himself with the extremist Israeli right and further enable Israel's occupation, its displacement of Palestinians, and its almost half-century-old apartheid regime".