Apologies Not All Accepted at Hearing for Israeli Ambassador Nominee

Apologies Not All Accepted at Hearing for Israeli Ambassador Nominee

When asked about whether the USA still supports the "two-state solution", a Jewish Israel alongside an independent Palestinian state, Trump wavered.

David Friedman, a longtime friend and lawyer to Trump, was a surprise pick to become the US's chief diplomat in Israel, given both his prior remarks and his lack of experience in diplomacy.

Klein slammed as "radical extremist groups" such liberal organizations as J Street and Partners for Progressive Israel for "trying to derail Mr. Friedman's well-deserved nomination" and accused them of working to "defame Mr. Friedman - a pro-Israel, extraordinarily well-qualified Jew".

J Street states that Mr. Friedman is "hostile" to the two-state solution, which it terms the "only way to ensure Israel's future as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people".

Friedman's representatives have indicated that he intends to apologise for the remark during the hearing Thursday, but the bankruptcy lawyer has also made problematic comments on other groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, whose leaders he called "morons" for raising questions about a pre-election ad in which Trump spoke about secretive global banking conspiracies while featuring images of Jews that Trump associated with his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

A protester holding a Palestinian flag interrupts David Friedman as he testifies at his confirmation hearing.

"A website connected to Friedman's fundraising group describes Beit El's institutions as "'facts on the ground' in the face of the worldwide community's desire to uproot us".

"I have expressed my skepticism about the two-state solution exclusively on the basis on what I've perceived to be an unwillingness on the part of the Palestinians to renounce terror and accept Israel as a Jewish state", Friedman stressed. The "inflammatory rhetoric that accompanied the presidential campaign is entirely over, and, if I am confirmed, you should expect that my comments will be respectful and measured", he said in his opening remarks. He got into a discussion with Senator Cory Booker about the difference between apology and atonement after agreeing that Tim Kaine wasn't an Israel basher and that former President Obama wasn't an actual anti-Semite.

"I'm looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like", Trump told a joint news conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "This is something that I really want to do because I think I can do it well", he said. Friedman wrote last June that supporters of the group are "worse" than kapos, whom he defined as "Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps".

An array of liberal Jewish groups organized three separate letters this week to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: one each from rabbis and cantors, from Holocaust survivors and from Holocaust scholars.

But he argued that, since then, Palestinian violence against Israel has only increased.

Friedman is a financial backer of expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank, land claimed by the Palestinians.

Trump was referring to the Jewish settlements being built on Palestinian territory in the West Bank in defiance of the US and much of the rest of the world - but which Friedman supports. "We were there, we are there, and we will always be in Palestine", he shouts as he's escorted out by security.

"Trump and Netanyahu are two sides of the same coin, and we know that Friedman will use his position to further their shared goal of a permanent occupation", added Isaac Flegel-Mishlove, another IfNotNow member.

As Trump's appointee, Friedman has faced heavy criticism for his financing of Israeli settlement Beit El.



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