Former [Left-Wing] US Ambassadors To Israel Working To Block Friedman's Confirmation
Feb 17 2017 by Desiree Burns
The diplomats' meeting came just one day after US President Donald Trump said the United States was not absolutely committed to a two-state solution. "My grandfather was exiled, was kicked out by the state of Israel", he continued, "and I'm right here, Mr. Friedman, holding up the Palestinian flag, right behind you". "American Jews stand against this man; we stand for freedom and dignity for all". "If Israel is to carry on as a democratic, Jewish nation, respected internationally, we see no alternative to a two-state solution", they wrote in a letter to the committee.
Friedman's representatives have indicated that he intends to apologise for the remark during the hearing Thursday, but the bankruptcy lawyer has also made problematic comments on other groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, whose leaders he called "morons" for raising questions about a pre-election ad in which Trump spoke about secretive worldwide banking conspiracies while featuring images of Jews that Trump associated with his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
"Mr. Friedman is very passionate".
As the Senate holds a confirmation hearing Thursday on the nomination of David Friedman, he could face grilling about his ties to Beit El, a community north of Jerusalem located in the heart of the occupied territory Palestinians demand for an independent state.
"He'll be able to present the Israeli position to the Trump administration, more than a professional ambassador would", Gilboa said.
Democratic senators also raked Friedman over the coals Thursday for calling former President Barack Obama an anti-Semite and calling Sen.
During his testimony, Friedman walked back many of his statements.
Friedman had called J Street, a liberal Jewish advocacy group, "worse than kapos", a reference to Jews who helped the Nazis imprison fellow Jews during the Holocaust.
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Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the panel Friedman is appearing before, told MSNBC, "There needs to be two states living side by side, and that's the view of the global committee and the view from the Israelis and Palestinians, and that's the way to move forward with peace".
"I provided some context for my remarks, but that was not in the nature of an excuse", he said.
Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of the left-leaning pro-Israel J Street organization, and a past target of Friedman's heated rhetoric, was less than enthusiastic with Friedman's retractions.
It also states that the building of settlements by Israel has "no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under worldwide law".
He said that the two-state solution remains the "best possibility" for peace in the region, however, Friedman expressed doubt over the Palestinian's commitment to peace.
"I'm looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like", Trump told a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The O.U. letter sent Tuesday noted efforts by some groups, including Jewish ones, to present Friedman's backing for settlements and his skepticism of the two-state solution as "beyond the pale".
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. "There will always be Palestinians in Palestine".