Anti-Israel protesters repeatedly disrupted the Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday for President Trump’s Ambassador-Designate to Israel, David Friedman.
Roughly midway through the hearing, a man bearing a Palestinian Liberation Organization flag interrupted Mr. Friedman, attacking his support for Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
"David Friedman is supporting the theft of Palestinian land! David Friedman is currently building a five-story building in a settlement in the West Bank. David Friedman will far more likely promote conflict in Israel and the occupied territories. Mr. Friedman supports expansionist policy and the annexation of the West Bank. Support Palestinian lives!"
The man, one of six protesters present in the hearing, was quickly removed by security.
Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer and long-time Trump confidant, has been noted for his staunch support of the State of Israel and the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria. Friedman is the President of "Beit El Yeshiva Institutions" in America, and is a close friend of former National Union MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzele), veteran of the Shaked commando unit who was wounded in the Yom Kippur War.
The nomination of Friedman as US Ambassador to Israel has drawn the criticism of the far-left, including the J Street organization, which lobbies on behalf of Palestinian statehood.
Friedman will need 11 of the 21 members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to move out of committee and on to a full Senate vote. The committee, chaired by Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, a noted backer of Israel, includes 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats on the committee, and it is expected Friedman will be approved.
In an opening statement to the committee, Friedman pledged to work “tirelessly to bring peace and stability to the region,” citing his own “deep understanding of Israel’s history, culture, geography, commerce, and politics.”
Regarding whether he would support the two-state solution, Friedman say that he wants “to see peace in the region, and that if “a two-state solution if it could be achieved would bring tremendous benefits to both the Israelis and Palestinians.”
When pressed regarding criticism he has expressed in the past regarding the two-state solution, Friedman said he remained skeptical of the viability of the solution, given behavior by the Palestinian Authority, but would applaud any final status agreement that could achieve a lasting peace.
"If the sides would reach a two-state solution... I would be delighted. I would be delighted to see peace come to this region, were people have suffered on both sides. I have expressed my skepticism about the two-state solution, solely on the basis of what I perceived as the unwillingness of the Palestinians to renounce terror and accept Israel as a Jewish state. That, in my view, is a foundational problem, but I think it can be remedied and I hope it is."
Friedman pledged that he would, if confirmed as Ambassador, fiercely combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. “I will be a fierce advocate against the BDS movement.”
When questioned regarding his claim made following the signing of the Iran nuclear deal that then-President Barack Obama was an “anti-Semite, Friedman expressed regret for his “hurtful words”.
"There is no excuse. If you want me to rationalize it or justify it - I cannot. These were hurtful words, and I regret them. They're not reflective of my nature or my character."