Trump Pick for Envoy to Israel to Face Grilling Over Peace Plan

Cheryl Sanders
February 17, 2017

Five former USA ambassadors to Israel who served under both Democratic and Republican presidents said that President Donald Trump's nominee as envoy is "unqualified for the position".

"I regret the use of such language and I want to assure you that I understand the important difference between a political contest and a diplomatic mission", Friedman said, but he did not go as far as apologizing for the comments. He said that American Jews are devoted to Israel, even if they disagree; and he said his late rabbi father Morris was his hero, and that in the 80s his father had many times locked himself to the gates of the Soviet embassy demanding freedom for Soviet Jews.

A second Palestinian man also held up a flag and was escorted out, then a shofar sounded, and several young Jews from #IfNotNow disrupted the hearing, speaking as American Jews against the occupation.

"I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like", Trump said Wednesday. "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 can not rationalize them" He called the remarks "hurtful words" and said again that he regrets them". The more we learned about the nominee, David Friedman, the more imperative it became to sound the alarm and to urge the U.S. Senate, including our own Senators Carper and Coons, to vote against his confirmation.

"We can not solve all problems. but we have a mutual understanding that where our interests coincide, and there are many such spheres, we must move ahead", Lavrov said in television comments broadcasted in Russian Federation. He also said President Obama and John Kerry were "anti-Semitic" and described the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as "morons".

During his testimony, Friedman walked back many of his statements.

"That, in my view, is a foundational problem, but I think it can be remedied", he said.

J Street has aggressively campaigned against Friedman's nomination.

The hearing comes a day after Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington.

The confrontations come as five of Washington's former envoys to Tel Aviv sent a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, calling Friedman "unqualified" to assume the ambassadorship due to his "extreme, radical positions". He likened liberal American Jews to Holocaust-era kapos, Jews who collaborated with the Nazis in concentration camps.

Friedman expressed little faith, though, in the current generation of Palestinian leaders under President Mahmoud Abbas as being able to agree to a final settlement.

It also states that the building of settlements by Israel has "no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under global law".

The letter includes concerns over Friedman's position should Israel annex the "West Bank", stating "address the question of whether Mr. Friedman would defend as ambassador the established American view that annexation of West Bank territory, outside the context of an worldwide resolution, would be counterproductive and a violation of global law".

"If Israel is to carry on as a democratic, Jewish nation, respected internationally, we see no alternative to a two-state solution, "they pointed out". Friedman's ties to Beit El are just one of the reasons he could face a stormy confirmation hearing.

Other reports by iNewsToday