When Trump announced his choice for ambassador to Israel on Thursday, David M. Friedman, a lot of confusion surrounded the announcement.
‘(Friedman) has been a long-time friend and trusted advisor to me. His strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country as we strengthen the ties with our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East.’
Friedman is a bankruptcy lawyer and a close friend of Trump’s who has handled legal work for some of Trump’s businesses. Trump’s motivations behind choosing him as ambassador to such an unstable country were a mystery to the average voter beyond the friendship between the two men, but people of Jewish heritage immediately began sounding the alarm due to Friedman’s hardline stance on a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.
As The New York Times reports:
‘Mr. Friedman, whose outspoken views stand in stark contrast to decades of American policy toward Israel, did not wait long on Thursday to signal his intention to upend the American approach. In a statement from the Trump transition team announcing his nomination, he said he looked forward to doing the job “from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”’
His declaration regarding moving the embassy to Jerusalem is alarming on its own. One top Palestinian cleric likened the proposed move to “declaring a new war on the Palestinians and all Muslim Arabs,” while Daniel Kurtzer, the former ambassador to Israel, said that Friedman will “appeal to a small minority of Israeli — and American — extremists, ignoring the majority of Israelis who continue to seek peace.” Moving an Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, which both Israel and Palestine consider the capitol and which has been a point of contention between the two countries for many years, is not an attempt to “strive for peace.”
Friedman’s writings, which have also been printed in The New York Times, are equally concerning. In them, Friedman “refers to the West Bank by its biblical name, Judea and Samaria, reflecting his view that Israel should annex the territory, viewed by Palestinians as the heart of their future state.” He has also compared liberal Jewish Americans to those who assisted the Nazis during the Holocaust, said that President Obama and the State Department were “anti-semitic” in their views on Israel, and proposed agreeing to a ban on assault weapons in the United States in exchange for “restrictions on Muslim immigration.”
This is striving for peace?
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