Trump's pick for Israeli ambassador apologizes for past rhetoric
Feb 17 2017 by Desiree Burns
In the past, he has criticized liberal Jewish groups, and for that, he had to apologize today. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire (who is married to a Lebanese-American), Friedman promised that he would take seriously allegations of mistreatment by Arab-Americans at Israeli ports. "We will not be silenced. Moral American Jews stand against occupation and against Friedman" another protester yelled as she was escorted out of the hearing. "Senators, if you send this man to Israel you endanger millions of Palestinians and Israelis".
The activists then began to sign the traditional Jewish song "Olam Chesed Yibaneh" in protest.
The committee is scheduled to meet Thursday for Friedman's confirmation hearing.
Here was the first disruption by a Palestinian man holding up a Palestinian flag and describing the fate of Palestinian refugees.
The president did say that Israel should "hold back" on settlement activity.
"I find this whole process to be unreal, this sort-of ordeal you're being put through to account for all these words, in particular given some of the groups that are ratcheting all this up", Rubio said. Faced with Mr. Friedman's intolerance and divisiveness, the Senate should vote to reject him. "There will always be Palestinians in Palestine". "Anyone who disagrees with his extreme views or approach to Israel is an anti-Semite", Udall said.
"A two-state solution, if it could be achieved, would bring tremendous benefits to both the Israelis and the Palestinians", Friedman said.
Friedman has compared J Street, a liberal Jewish group that supports a two-state solution, to "kapos" - Jews who assisted the Nazis during the Holocaust.
All the senators on the panel agreed that Israel policy should never become politicized, even though it has been; and they seemed determined not to aggravate the divide. Sen.
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The diplomats' statement coincided with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to Washington on Wednesday to hold talks with President Trump. President Trump himself donated $10,000 to the illegal Beit El settlement, and Jared Kushner's parents, Charles and Seryl, are members of Beit El Institutions' founding board of trustees.
Senators repeatedly congratulated Friedman on his love for Israel; and many of Friedman's comments suggested that his primary concern was binding up and representing a divided American Jewish community, with very little mention of non-Jewish Americans.
The confirmation hearing and protest came just one day after Trump met with Netanyahu.
"I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like", Trump said Wednesday.
"I have expressed my skepticism about the two-state solution exclusively on the basis of what I have perceived as unwillingness on the part of the Palestinians to renounce terror and accept Israel as a Jewish state", Friedman said. "With Friedman as his representative in the region, untold violence could erupt".
Friedman called the two-state proposal the "most ideal" solution to the Middle East conflict.
President Trump has received legal advice from David Friedman in a number of bankruptcy proceedings in the past.
In their letter, the ambassadors asked the committee to address the question of whether Friedman would defend established us positions, like opposing annexation of the West Bank and spreading of settlements there.