Friedman's current comments show the 'moderate' location he embraced during his nomination were completely fake. How can the U.S. Ambassador to Israel smear opponents, act together a representative of Israel's settlers and misrepresent U.S. Policy?


The U.S. Ambassador come Israel, David Friedman, has politicized his diplomatic office and also misrepresented U.S. Plan on Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. In the process, that is causing real damage to ours country’s understanding in the region.

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Ambassador Friedman has been, come say the least, a controversial figure because before he arised as President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to serve as us ambassador to Israel. By now, the has detailed ample reasons to conclude that he have to be fired.

The recent indication that Friedman’s unsuitability to serve as America’s chef representative to Israel came in his decided at the Zionist company of America’s yearly dinner, wherein he to be honored because that his "outstanding diplomacy." in ~ the fte-cum-political rally, alt-right symbols Steve Bannon and also Sebastian Gorka to be treated as esteemed guests. 

Friedman’s ZOA appearance prove a absence of respect for diplomatic norms, follow to i beg your pardon ambassadors stay over politics. Our ambassador supplied the gala together a platform because that partisan attacks. The target the his opprobrium was previous President Barack Obama, who he accused that committing "perhaps the greatest betrayal the Israel by a sitting president in American history."

Obama’s supposed crime to be his courageous decision no to exercise the us veto against UN protection Council Resolution 2334. The resolution reaffirmed the long-held U.S. Position regarding the standing of the West Bank and also East Jerusalem as occupied territory, and also urged nations to preserve a difference between Israel in ~ the pre-1967 lines and also West bank settlements.

Whether or no you agree v the merits that Obama’s act, there deserve to be no inquiry that Friedman’s characterization the Obama as having actually "betrayed" Israel is a patently false smear. On the clock of every other American president due to the fact that 1967, the us abstained top top or also voted because that multiple protection Council resolutions vital of Israel. In eight years, Obama did it just once.

According to Friedman, the occupation is just 'alleged': A protestor against Israel's separation obstacle in the West Bank town of Bilin; behind, the Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit. Feb 17, 2012Credit: AP
Friedman has a background of accusing then-President Obama of engaging in "blatant anti-Semitism" and also calling liberal American Jews favor those who assistance J Street "far worse 보다 kapos" (Nazi collaborators). That walked earlier many of his prior comments and also positions in the food of his check hearing, so much so the Senators questioned the authenticity of what one legislator dubbed a "nomination conversion."

The truth is: Friedman acts together though he to represent Israel’s settlement movement and also its right-wing American supporters quite than the U.S. Federal government or public. He told Israel’s Walla! News in September, "I think the settlements are a component of Israel” and also absurdly argued that Israel is "only occupying 2 percent of the West Bank."

These assertions fly in the face of long-held U.S. Policy, which has never well-known any component of the West bank as belonging come Israel. Israel’s own Supreme Court regards this region as legally hosted under "belligerent occupation." 

Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and David Friedman, United says Ambassador come Israel, to visit a ceremony celebrate the 50th anniversary the the liberation and also unification of Jerusalem, SunCredit: Abir Sultan/AP
The State Department found itself in the position of having to disavow Friedman’s remarks because that a 2nd time in three weeks, v spokeswoman heath Nauert stipulating the his words did "not show a change in U.S. Policy." (The previously disavowal came in solution to a Jerusalem article interview in i m sorry Friedman referred to Israel’s "alleged occupation" the the West Bank.)

Friedman opposes the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (he has dubbed it "an illusory solution trying to find a non-existent problem"), a long-held tenet that America’s Mideast policy.

This attitude should come together no surprise because Friedman served for years as president of American friend of Beit El, a settlement close to Ramallah, and also raised countless dollars because that the settlement’s yeshiva, well-known for its extremist rabbi.

In their letter urging senators no to check Friedman, 5 former U.S. Ambassadors to Israel proclaimed their issue that Friedman would not development "longstanding bipartisan purposes in the region," including promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Their concerns were well-founded. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is combustible enough as is. America cannot afford to have a flamethrower in the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

David Friedman should never have actually been shown as U.S. Ambassador come Israel. Currently that the has presented that his switch on the road to confirmation was without doubt fake, he should go.

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Debra Shushan is manager of Policy and also Government relations at american for peace Now. She was formerly a Middle east politics professor at the college of William and also Mary. Twitter:
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