^ David Friedman, an outrageously bad ambassador selection, may represent the Trump family’s money interests, but he does not and cannot represent our nations’ interests.
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We don’t often opine about American ambassador choices. Indeed, we never have.But there’s a first time for everything, and so we decry the President-elect’s intention to make one David Friedman our nation’s ambassador to Israel.
Who is David Friedman, you ask ? Good question. He’s hardly a household name. At this link you can read what Haaretz, Israel’s centrist news medium, says about him : http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.759434
Friedman’s top qualifications seem to be that he is, in fact, Jewish and, second, is a personal attorney to Mr. Trump. Being part of Mr. Trump’s personal security force seems, indeed, to be the essential qualification for all jobs in his administration. It’s how he intends to safeguard his profits as he uses the power of the Presidency to bully bully-able interests into spending their money in his hotels, etc. Friedman has zero diplomatic experience — another sine qua non for success in Mr. Trump’s crony empire — but he does have opinions: and these express contempt for mainstream Jewish opinion as well as for the realities of Israel.
Specifically, he supports the settler movement, whose goal is to push Palestinians out of the entire West bank, just as the Turks expelled Greeks after World War I, as most Arab nations have expelled Jews, as India and Pakistan have mutually expelled each there’s peoples. In Friedman’s world, the cycle of tribal / ethnic expulsions goes on. Maybe it does : but it ill behooves America, a nation which until now has melded everybody into one people, to embrace tribal expulsions.
The Fri8edman world envisions no peace, only undying mutual enmity. Friedman’s Israel would be forever at war with all of its neighbors, not to mention a pariah of human rights. In Israel itself, only the extreme ethnic identity folks — the same folks who want to arrogate the power to declare who is legally a Jew and who isn’t — support views Friedman espouses. That should be no surprise. The Friedman ethnic cleansing view of Israel’s future is a disaster, politically and morally.
Israel was founded as a nation led by and home for Jews; but it has never been a nation only of Jews. Almost 40 percent of Israel’s population is Arabic, Christian, Druze, or Muslim; and at least in theory, all are fully citizens of Israel. many serve in the IDF (Israel Armed Forces). They have full civil rights; are represented in the Knesset; and enjoy full respect for their faiths. This was how it was at Israel’s foundation, as a secular nation committed to Western civilization and our ideals.
Israel has since moved away from these ideals, under pressure by Palestinian terrorists and by the thugs of Hamas; but the ideal itself remains in place even if amended on the ground. Palestinian society, too, has moved away from peace because its governing agency is too weak (and too corrupt) to command the conversation. Yet to surrender the admittedly wounded ideal of peace between Israelis and Palestinians to the pursuit of Israeli conquest would shake the foundations of far more of the world than merely the two peoples. Almost the entire world has committed itself to one solution or another to the Israeli / Palestinian conflict; no nation supports Israeli conquest and expulsion. Not even Israel itself supports it.
Admittedly the present Israeli and Palestinian difficulties feel messy and tenuous. Life for many Palestinians is difficult, often humiliating. Life for many Israelis involves constant vigilance and much stress. However, better stress and difficulty than outright war, which would be the certain consequence of Friedman’s policy.
His views merit condemnation He cannot be confirmed as our ambassador.
—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere