STATEMENT: CAP’s Brian Katulis on the Nomination of David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel
Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Senior Fellow, Brian Katulis, issued the following statement on the nomination of David Friedman to be the U.S. ambassador to Israel:
David Friedman’s stances on Israel and his divisive words about fellow Americans demean the shared values that have sustained the bipartisan friendship between the United States and Israel. He has spoken out against the two-state solution to create a Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel, a cornerstone of U.S. policy under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. He defended the Israeli settlement of the West Bank and, as a campaign adviser, even entertained the notion of large-scale Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory. His support for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem outside of any framework for peace raises concerns as well. These steps risk damage not just to the U.S.-Israel relationship but also to peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians. Israel’s long-term survival as a Jewish and democratic state depends on forging the kind of two-state solution that Friedman has called “illusion.”
His uncivil and demeaning rhetoric about his fellow Americans is deeply troubling. This is a man who accused President Obama of “blatant anti-semitism” and slandered those who disagreed with him as “worse than kapos,” a term referring to Jews who collaborated with Nazis in concentration camps to perpetrate the Holocaust. This divisive and incendiary language undermines the ability to build bipartisan support for U.S. engagement and leadership in the Middle East.
This year has seen Donald Trump damage so many of the basic tenets of civil discourse in America. David Friedman’s confirmation would only deepen divisions. America and Israel deserve better. U.S. senators who support Israel’s security and a two-state solution should oppose his nomination.
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