Trump’s Ambassador to Israel Is “To The Right of Netanyahu” – ONLY SIMCHAS NEWS
Trump’s Ambassador to Israel Is “To The Right of Netanyahu”
Dec. 15, 2016 ONLY SIMCHAS NEWS
President-elect Donald Trump is nominating his top Jewish surrogate, David Friedman to be U.S. ambassador to Israel.
Friedman, a real estate & bankruptcy lawyer, is an Orthodox Jew who is a member of the Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst and lives in Woodmere, NY. Friedman has been married for 35 years to Tammy Sand of Miami Beach, Florida. They also own a home in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Talbiyeh, where they spend the Jewish holidays along with their children and grandchildren twice a year. Friedman is also a commentator on Arutz Sheva and serves as the President of American Friends of Bet El Institutions.
David and Tammy Friedman at a playground which they dedicated in Bet El, with Former MK and Bet El Founder Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz. (on the left.)
A faculty house dedicated by Friedman in Bet El’s Ra’aya Girls High School. Baruch Gordon
Chief Advisor on Israel During Campaign
The involvement of David Friedman in the Trump campaign was first revealed shortly before Passover, in a meeting with Orthodox Jewish reporters, when Trump named the two men he said would be his chief advisers on Israel. Jason Greenblatt and Trump’s “good friend and trusted adviser” David M. Friedman.
During the meeting Trump told the reporters, “The Orthodox community is amazing. I grew up in Brooklyn, as you know. Ocean Parkway. And I’ve had many, many friends over the years Orthodox, in fact people that work for me,” Trump said.
“In fact, maybe I can get Jason Greenblatt down here. Jason is a person that has been so good, he’s a lawyer, he’s so incredible and he’s Orthodox.
Jason Greenblatt, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at The Trump Organization
Trump also talked about his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who helped write the pro-Israel speech Trump delivered last month to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, D.C., Copies of the speech were handed out to all the participants before the meeting.
“You probably know, many of you, Jared Kushner, who’s my son-in-law, and he’s happily married to my daughter Ivanka,” Trump said. “So he sends his warmest regards, and she does.”
At the same meeting, Trump talked briefly about his Jewish philanthropy, mentioning that his father used to buy Israel bonds, and wrapped up the meeting reiterating his befuddlement about why Jews are so supportive of Barack Obama.
“In my opinion, Barack Obama has been tremendously disloyal to Israel, and yet my Jewish friends go out and have fundraisers for him all the time,” Trump said. “Someday you people will explain to me what you’re doing.”
Tapping Friedman as U.S Ambassador to Israel
Today, Trump released a statement about his tapping Friedman for ambassador to Israel:
“The bond between Israel and the United States runs deep, and I will ensure there is no daylight between us when I’m president,” Trump said in a statement. “As the United States’ ambassador to Israel, David Friedman will maintain the special relationship between our two countries.” … (Friedman) has been a long-time friend and trusted adviser to me.
“His strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country as we strengthen the ties to our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East,” Trump continued.
The statement also quoted Friedman predicting he would work from “Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”
Friedman added that he was “deeply honored and humbled” that Trump selected him to represent the US in Israel, and that he aimed to “strengthen the bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region”
Friedman speaking at a Trump rally in Israel
He also indicated that Trump would make good on his pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “I look forward to doing this from the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”.
Trump made clear during his campaign that he would support Israel in a number of critical areas, including moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, all but enshrining the city as Israel’s capital over international objections. He also pledged to not put pressure on Israel to engage in talks with the Palestinians.
Until now, the United States and other powers do not regard Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – in addition to the U.S. embassy, other nations’ embassies are in Tel Aviv – and do not recognize Israel’s annexation of Arab East Jerusalem following its capture in the 1967 Middle East war.
One of the thorniest issues is resolving the rival Israeli and Palestinian demands for Jerusalem’s future. Palestinians regard the ancient city – which contains sites sacred to the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths – as the future capital of a separate state.
Advocate of Building Settlements
Friedman is considered far-right on issues, including settlement building and has advocated for the annexation of the Judea & Samaria, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 war.
The Obama administration has been highly critical of Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Judea & Samaria and East Jerusalem. Most countries view all Israeli settlements on occupied land that the Palestinians seek for their own state as illegal.
Liberal Organizations Response to Appointment
J Street, the liberal pro-Israel group based in Washington, said it was “vehemently opposed” to Friedman’s nomination.
“As someone who has been a leading American friend of the settlement movement, who lacks any diplomatic or policy credentials … Friedman should be beyond the pale for Senators considering who should represent the United States in Israel,” it said in a statement.
“This nomination is reckless, putting America’s reputation in the region and credibility around the world at risk,” the statement said.
For his part, Saban, spoke at the Saban Forum in December and stunned liberal American Jews by saying the Trump administration would freeze out J Street, the left-leaning, pro-Israel lobby group based in Washington, D.C., which has been influential in recent years. In previous interviews, Friedman called the organization “far worse than kapos,” a highly insulting Yiddish word for Jews who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.
Israel’s left wing newspaper Ha’aretz describes David Friedman as “to the right of Netanyahu”
Friedman Interviewed by Israeli Media
Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East adviser to Republican and Democratic administrations, said Friedman’s nomination “was designed to send a signal that there will be significant break in tone, style and perhaps substance from the Obama administration” in its handling of the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
“The peace process is just dead right now,” Miller said, alluding to the Obama administration’s failed efforts. But he said it was too early to see Friedman’s nomination as Trump’s disavowal of a two-state solution.
Reuters & Arutz 7 Contributed to this article.