Former [Left-Wing] US Ambassadors To Israel Working To Block Friedman's Confirmation
President Donald Trump's nominee for ambassador to Israel may be causing controversy in Washington.
Testifying before the Senate in a hearing on his nomination as ambassador to Israel, David Friedman said a two-state solution- in which a Jewish state of Israel and an independent Arab state of Palestine live side by side in peace and security, ending all claims in the conflict- remains the "best possibility" for genuine peace in the region. "I deeply regret them".
Friedman is likely to be confirmed by the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.
The diplomatic strategy, which envisions an Israeli nation and a Palestinian nation living side by side, has been the cornerstone of USA policy since the Clinton administration, although Trump said Wednesday that he is willing to abandon it if Israel and the Palestinians can produce a better plan. "All evidence of his political positions and life's work until today indicate that he will continue to align himself with the extremist Israeli right and further enable Israel's occupation, its displacement of Palestinians, and its almost half-century-old apartheid regime".
At a high-profile White House meeting on Wednesday, Trump abandoned those positions. Reagan, like other US presidents, also criticized Israel's expansionist settlement policies. "I have expressed my skepticism about the two-state solution exclusively on the basis of what I've perceived as an unwillingness on the part of the Palestinians to renounce terror and accept Israel as a Jewish state".
In addition to the ads, CUFI also distributed an action alert asking its 3.3 million members to contact their senators requesting they support the Friedman nomination.
Friedman's pro-annexationist views, however, are unsurprising for someone who so passionately self-identifies with Israel's settler movement.
Friedman went before the panel a day after Trump, during a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, refused to explicitly back the two-state solution that has been us policy since 2002 - but also asked Netanyahu "to hold back on the settlements a bit". Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he attempted to walk back what he called his "personal opinion [s]" and to show his commitment to Israel.
Friedman's ties to Beit El are just one of the reasons he could face a stormy confirmation hearing.
During a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, Trump was evasive about whether he would support a two-state solution that would include a Palestinian state. He has also excoriated liberal Jewish Zionist groups, such as J Street, which support the establishment of a Palestinian state, dubbing them "far worse than kapos", Jewish people coerced by the Nazis to help them administer the concentration and death camps. He has also accused Obama of "blatant anti-Semitism". He says his use of incendiary comments is "entirely over". "I don't believe that for a second".
Friedman was further accused of holding extremist and radical views, leading the ambassadors to question his temperament, due to various remarks that accused former U.S. president Barack Obama and the State Department of being anti-Semitic and "propagating false conspiracy theories that Hillary Clinton's adviser Huma Abedin" had "well-established ties to the Muslim Brotherhood".
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