Josh Marshall says that David Friedman is about as far right on the spectrum of Israeli politics as one can imagine, calling him the ‘worst of the worst’.
Friedman represents the extremes of the most vicious and destructive elements of rightist Zionism and the indeed the most radical elements of American Jewry.
Chemi Shalev captures the essence here.
By Israeli standards, Donald Trump’s designated Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is an extreme right-winger. He might find a place in the settler movement or with Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi Party, but only on its right-wing fringes. He makes Benjamin Netanyahu seem like a left-wing defeatist. From where Friedman stands, most Israelis, never mind most American Jews, are more or less traitors.
Friedman has repeatedly attacked J Street, the pro-Israel, pro-Peace group, and its members as worse than the Jewish collaborators who served the Nazis during the Holocaust.
You can learn more about Friedman’s awful biography and views here.
The announcement was heavily assailed by human rights activists. “David Friedman’s appointment as U.S. ambassador to Israel indicates that the Trump Administration has aligned itself with the farthest right elements of the Israeli government,” said Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director for Jewish Voice for Peace.
Responding to his appointment, Friedman proclaimed, “I intend to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”
For decades, the U.S. embassy has been located in Tel Aviv, with the U.S. government maintaining that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved through peace negotiations. While the U.S. has a track record of funding, arming and politically backing Israeli occupation and apartheid, critics warn that Friedman’s statements signify a dangerous lurch to the right. “This flies in the face of international norms around territory occupied by war and would reconfirm the perception that U.S. is not an honest broker in this conflict,” Naomi Dann, spokesperson for Jewish Voice for Peace, told AlterNet. “This is a very clear step towards annexation.”
The idea that the US is an ‘honest broker’ between Israel and the Palestinians has always been a joke. The US government has in the past meekly acquiesced in Israeli expansionism and continued to massively subsidize that country while providing occasional mild verbal protests at its creation of an apartheid state. That pretense is now over. The US has dropped the veil of being an impartial negotiator and is now an open partisan.