On Capitol Hill, President Trump’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, was repeatedly interrupted by Jewish and Palestinian protesters Thursday as he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
David Friedman: “It’s a great privilege to address this committee, which has done so much to advance America’s interests around the world.”
Protester 1: “Mr. Friedman also said that Palestinian refugees don’t have a claim to the land, don’t have a connection to Palestine.”
Protester 2: “David Friedman, you promote racism, fund illegal settlements. We will not be silenced. You do not represent us, and you will never represent us.”
David Friedman has no diplomatic experience and worked as a bankruptcy lawyer for Donald Trump over the last 15 years. He served as president of an organization which raised millions of dollars to support illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. He’s also called liberal American Jews “worse than kapos”—a reference to Jewish prisoners who worked for the Nazis during the Holocaust. On Thursday, Friedman apologized for the remarks.
David Friedman: “I provided some context for my remarks, but that was not in the nature of an excuse. There is no excuse. I will, if—if—if you—if you want me to rationalize it or justify it, I cannot. These were hurtful words, and I deeply regret them. They’re not reflective of my nature or my character.”
David Friedman told senators that he sees a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the best possibility for peace in the region. That’s despite his past claims to the contrary and yesterday’s comment from President Trump backing away from two decades of U.S. support for a two-state solution.