Former ambassadors: Friedman is 'unqualified'

Five former ambassadors to Israel write Senate, claim David Friedman is unfit to serve as ambassador to Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

David Friedman
David Friedman
Reuters

Five former U.S. ambassadors to Israel said on Wednesday that David Friedman, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the post, is unqualified, reports The Associated Press.

Friedman, who served as Trump’s advisor on Israel affairs during the election campaign, was named by Trump as the nominee for ambassador to Israel in mid-December.

A longtime Arutz Sheva op-ed contributor, Friedman spoke out in favor of Israel numerous times during the campaign and highlighted Trump’s pro-Israel stance.

In a letter sent Wednesday to members of the Foreign Relations Committee, the former ambassadors urged senators to carefully consider Friedman’s nomination, accusing him of "extreme, radical positions".

"We believe the committee should satisfy itself that Mr. Friedman has the balance and the temperament required to represent the United States as ambassador to Israel," they wrote, according to AP.

The ambassadors, who served both Republican and Democratic presidents, claimed Friedman accused former President Barack Obama and the entire State Department of anti-Semitism. They also claimed that Friedman characterized supporters of the leftist organization J Street as "kapos".

J Street just this week began a campaign to have the Senate reject Friedman’s nomination.

In their letter, the former ambassadors further called on the committee to address the question of whether Friedman, if confirmed, would defend the established U.S. position that annexation of Judea and Samaria would be "counterproductive and a violation of international law."

"The American ambassador must be dedicated to advancing our country's longstanding bipartisan goals in the region: strengthening the security of the United States and our ally Israel, and advancing the prospects for peace between Israel and its neighbors, in particular the Palestinians," the former ambassadors wrote.

"If Israel is to carry on as a democratic, Jewish nation, respected internationally, we see no alternative to a two-state solution," they added.

The letter was signed by Thomas Pickering, William Harrop, Edward Walker, Daniel Kurtzer and James Cunningham.

The committee is scheduled to meet Thursday for Friedman's confirmation hearing. The State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the letter from the former ambassadors.




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