David Friedman Hearing Brings Out Shofar-Blowing Hecklers

Several senators expressed concern about the increasing breakdown of the once bipartisan support for Israel, a condition to which Friedman said he'd likely contributed.

Five former U.S. ambassadors to Israel condemned President Trump's nomination for Israeli ambassador on Wednesday, voicing concerns over his views on the two-state solution. A two-state resolution, he claimed, is "an illusory solution in search of a non-existent problem".

They called his views not representative of the American society, and his general behavior unbefitting of an envoy.

The letter calls on either the president to withdraw the nomination or the Senate to reject Friedman's bid if Trump is unwilling to take such an action.

He described Friedman as "someone who knows Israel because he was here - not because he read the newspapers that the Arab population is very good at using on their side". The indication of intent to move the American embassy to East Jerusalem al-Quds is meant to be a sign of the recognition of the city as the capital of an Israeli "state". 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. "If you want me to rationalize it or justify it, I can not", Friedman said in response to questioning from ranking member Ben Cardin.

By comparison, only 24 percent of Israelis and around 33 percent of Palestinians would prefer a single state.




Netanyahu is trying to recalibrate ties with Israel's top ally after eight years of high-profile clashes with former President Barack Obama, in part over Israel's policies toward the Palestinians.

Trump, during a White House news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, was evasive about endorsing a two-state solution with the Palestinians. He likened liberal American Jews to Holocaust-era Kapos, Jews who worked for the Nazis in concentration camps.

A shift in USA policy toward Israel has already begun.

Multiple senators pressed Friedman over whether the USA had abandoned the two-state solution formula.

In a Trump transition team statement in December announcing his appointment, Friedman said he wanted to work for peace and looked forward to "doing this from the USA embassy in Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem".

In the middle of the hearing, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told reporters on her way to a meeting that the US commitment to the two-state solution was firm - but her office emphasized that there was no daylight between her statement today and the president's on Wednesday. If you want me to rationalize or justify it I can not. Apparently by relegating Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to perpetual statelessness under Israel's ongoing, illegal blockade and by not granting Palestinians in the West Bank Israeli citizenship. "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.

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