Dec. 19, 2016 – J Street is vehemently opposed to the nomination of David Friedman to serve as United States Ambassador to Israel.
Friedman is a leading American friend and funder of the settlement movement, lacks any diplomatic or policy credentials and has attacked fellow Jews and public figures with hateful accusations that are disqualifying for representing our country in any capacity.
Friedman has consistently aligned himself with some of the most irresponsible charges and conspiracy theories of the far-right, Islamophobic fringe in this country. He has publicly called President Barack Obama an anti-Semite. He has promoted the false and dangerous conspiracy theory that a Pakistani-Indian aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. He has labeled “liberal Jews” as “worse than kapos,” referring to Jews who collaborated with Nazis during the Holocaust, thereby hideously twisting the legacy of the Holocaust for use as a political weapon. His nomination is reckless, putting America’s reputation in the region and credibility around the world at risk.
It also displays contempt for decades of bipartisan US policy toward Israel and its conflict with the Palestinians, including support for the two-state solution, which Friedman has opposed, and which remains vital to Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people. This puts Friedman in conflict with the official position of not just the United States, but the Israeli and Palestinian governments as well.
Finally, the nomination shows breathtaking disdain for the vast majority of American Jews who support the two-state solution, progress toward peace with the Palestinians and common decency in public discourse.
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We trust that other leaders of the American Jewish community will stand with us in making clear that Friedman’s rhetoric and vicious attacks are completely disqualifying and unacceptable. Friedman’s track record shows that he has the exact opposite of the diplomatic disposition needed to represent the United States in one of the most sensitive and complex postings in the world.
Senators should know that the majority of Jewish Americans oppose the views and the values that this nominee represents, and that his confirmation to serve in this position would undermine the core values underlying the US-Israel relationship and to endanger both American and Israeli interests.
J Street calls on all friends of Israel who believe its future, democracy and security depend on a two-state solution and effective American leadership and support to join us in opposing this nomination.
J Street is the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans who want Israel to be secure, democratic and the national home of the Jewish people. We advocate for policies that advance shared US and Israeli interests as well as Jewish and democratic values, leading to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. www.jstreet.org