On Thursday, the Senate approved president Donald Trump’s choice for the post of United States ambassador to Israel. David Friedman is actually the first of the president’s ambassador to be confirmed. The Senators voted 52-46 in approval of his nomination. All the Republicans present supported Friedman, while two Democrats also joined them. The majority of the Democrats objected because, in their opinion, Friedman does not have the temperament for such a crucial position. On Thursday, Senators Joe Manchin and Bob Melendez, supported him during a procedural vote. They also voted for Friedman on the floor.
Who is David Friedman?
David Friedman is the son of an Orthodox rabbi. He has long been a strong defender of Israel’s government and supporter of the Israeli settlements. The president’s choice does not agree with the Palestinian ways and ideas. He is an attorney who was once Donald Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer. The issue was that many Democrats strongly opposed him during the confirmation. They brought back the subject of Friedman’s strong language. He once called former president Barack Obama an anti-Semite. Apart from this, he also made some rather unflattering comments on the State Department and on some liberal Jewish groups.
However, during his appearance on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Friedman said that he regretted everything he said. He admitted that he did not use the most delicate language during the presidential election and received criticism rightfully. Still, he explained that his opinions are the same as they were last year, just that he regrets the way he verbalized them. He also said that he knows he hurt some people and that he apologizes to them. The attorney also promised to be calmer and more respectful from now on, despite strong opposition from the Democrats, who argued that he is not fit for the post of ambassador to Israel.
United States ambassador to Israel
As for the Republicans, they said that Friedman’s apologies were enough for them to vote for his confirmation. Some Republicans even praised the new ambassador and said that he is a “impassioned advocate”. Especially in what concerns strengthening the relations between the United States and Israel. Others called him the perfect man to take on this very important and rather crucial position. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee stated that Friedman is among the few people who really understand the current situation of Israel. Moreover, he knows how important is for the United States to have a strong democratic ally in a part of the world that does not have much stability.
All in all, it was normal for Friedman to receive criticism over his ideas. He thinks that Israel should annex the West Bank and is a strong opponent of the two-state solution. This is another reason for which many Democrats did not back him. However, it seems like Donald Trump’s pick for the post of ambassador to Israel finally received confirmation. From now on, it remains to be seen how he is going to handle this controversial situation regarding Israel, the Palestinian territory and the relationship with the United States.
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