Congressman Nadler Statement on Donald Trump's Appointment of David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel

Dec 16, 2016 Issues: Foreign Affairs/Israel

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement concerning President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of David Friedman as the new United States Ambassador to Israel:

"The nomination of David Friedman as the new U.S. Ambassador to Israel underscores, yet again, the extremist agenda of Donald Trump and his administration.  This is an appointment with dangerous consequences for both the United States and Israel, not only with respect to the prospect of an eventual negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but also with respect to the relationship between our two countries, and more generally, to regional stability.

"Mr. Friedman’s views and comments about a two-state solution are not only a total break from decades of American and Israeli policy, but are fundamentally out-of-step with the views of the majority of American Jews.  Support for a two-state solution is not only official U.S. policy, it is also the official Israeli policy when it comes to a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.  Breaking from this position undermines the longstanding diplomatic alignment between our two countries, and magnifies the risk to Israel’s long-term safety and security by increasing dangerous regional instability.  Moreover, the overwhelming majority of American Jews, along with most American Jewish organizations across the spectrum—from AIPAC to J-Street—all support a two-state solution. 

"Mr. Friedman’s appointment is even more disturbing given his hateful rhetoric in describing, for example, some supporters of a two-state solution as “worse than kapos.”  Using Nazi imagery, such as the term kapo—a reference to Jews who cooperated and/or assisted the Nazis during the Holocaust—when referring to Jews or Israel today, no matter the circumstance, is broadly deemed to be anti-Semitic and should be condemned in the same way it would be if someone who was not Jewish were to use it.  

"Mr. Friedman’s extreme views and use of such hateful language is an insult to the majority of American Jews.

"With the appointment of David Friedman, Donald Trump has continued the divisive politics that were regularly on display during his campaign.  As another in a series of extremists to be appointed to top positions within the Administration, Mr. Friedman’s radical hardline positions place him far outside the mainstream of both American and Israeli policy and of American Jewry.  His appointment is not only offensive to both American and Israeli Jews, it again signals the intent of Donald Trump and the Republicans who support him to align with extreme right-wing positions.  Mr. Friedman’s views break with one of the fundamental building blocks of U.S. and Israeli policy, jeopardizing the U.S.-Israel relationship going forward."

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