Trump nominee for Israel ambassador heckled, questioned at Senate

NewsRight-Wing Writers Celebrate Trump Retreat On Two State Solution
Thea Glassman Feb 16 2017 Getty

NewsRight-Wing Writers Celebrate Trump Retreat On Two State Solution Thea Glassman Feb 16 2017 Getty

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".

Activists opposed to David Friedman's ambassadorship - and, in some cases, to Israel - look set to attempt to disrupt Friedman's nomination hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Holocaust scholars, including a handful not based in the United States, stop short of a call to reject Friedman, but say: "We hope that you will keep Mr. Friedman's disrespectful and politically cynical use of the Holocaust in mind as you consider his nomination to serve as our ambassador to Israel".

"Not enuf to simply express regret".

Udall also found it troubling that Friedman accused Democratic Sen.

The hearing comes a day after Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington.

"[Friedman] has argued that two states for two peoples is "an illusory solution in search of a non-existent problem".

The ambassadors, who served both Republican and Democratic presidents and have worked with Israeli leaders of "different political stripes", added that their objection stems from Friedman's "views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the two-state solution, and his deep and long-running personal and financial ties to the settlement movement, [which] run directly counter to decades of bipartisan U.S. policy and to USA and Israeli interests". "This is something I really want to do because I think I can do it well".

"I regret use of such language", said Friedman. He supports Israel's illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, which are built in flagrant contravention of global law. "American Jews won't stay silent as Trump, Friedman and Bibi expand the occupation".

Such views are unprecedented for US ambassadors to Israel, who in the past, whether from Republican or Democratic administrations, have avoided travel to settlements.

Former Senator Joe Lieberman, on the other hand, said that Friedman's close relationship with Trump will strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and Israel and urged bipartisan support for Friedman as ambassador.

He still questions whether Palestinians are prepared to make the concessions necessary: Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state and "denounce terror", he said.

Friedman sat quietly during the disruptions, picking up on his speech from the point he stopped once the hecklers were taken out of the room.

During his confirmation hearing, Friedman said he would sell his business interests in Israel.

Friedman was interrupted only a few sentences into his opening statement by pro-Palestinian activists waving Palestinian flags and shouting "free Palestine!"

"I believe he is the right guy at the right time". 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. "I hope there's a new generation of Palestinians that wants what everyone wants, a better life for themselves and their children", he said, saying the United States should help foster that and draw out that nascent leadership. Senator Lindsey Graham joked that he can represent them in court and that his fees are reasonable, but "you get what you pay for".

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