Recent moves by the UN over Israel’s West Bank settlements and President Obama’s overall approach to the country could be “nuked” by a bankruptcy lawyer Donald Trump is suggesting as ambassador.
Bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman is both intensely pro-Israel but – more significantly against the two-state “solution” and in favor of Israel’s development of settlements on the West Bank.
The two-state question is a “narrative” that must end, he has said.
Friedman is the son of an Orthodox rabbi and could potentially push Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tocontinue his hawkish approach to Israel’s development in the West Bank and regarding its approach to the Palestinian problem.
The Times Leader reports that the heated debate over Friedman’s selection is playing out just as fresh tensions erupt between the U.S. and Israel, punctuated last Friday by the Obama administration’s stunning move to allow a U.N. Security Council resolution to pass condemning Israeli settlements as illegal.
The move by the US to abstain, rather than veto the resolution went against many years of U.S. tradition of protecting Israel from such resolutions, and lead to intense criticism from both Israel and Donald Trump.
“Things will be different after Jan. 20th,” when he’s sworn in, Trump said on Twitter.
Friedman accuses Obama of “blatant anti-Semitism” and calls J Street who the Obama administration has relied upon for many of its policies, as “worse than kapos,” a reference to Jews who helped the Nazis imprison fellow Jews during the Holocaust.
This is an intensely pro-Israeli appointment. As the TL reported:
Seated at the Sabbath table with Reagan was David Melech Friedman — his middle name means “king” in Hebrew. The rabbi’s son went on to become Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer, a vocal advocate for far-right policies on Israel, and now, Trump’s choice for ambassador, despite having no diplomatic experience.
In announcing his pick, Trump pointed out that Friedman’s bar mitzvah 45 years ago was at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where Friedman now owns a home. Though his father was an Orthodox rabbi, the synagogue belongs to the more moderate Conservative denomination, making the Friedmans more observant than many of the congregants.