Pro-settlement David Friedman named as U.S. ambassador to Israel


U.S. President-elect Donald Trump nominated David Friedman, a pro-settlement bankruptcy lawyer, to be the next US ambassador to Israel, Haaretz Hebrew newspaper revealed Friday.

David Friedman, who had more recently served on the president-elect’s advisory team on the Middle East, said that he looked forward to delivering Trump’s pledge to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy there.

Friedman, 57, serves as president of the American Friends of Bet El Institutions, which funds settlements in the West Bank.

He disagrees with the general international consensus that the settlements are illegal and he opposes a ban on settlement construction on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. And he has long supported an undivided Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Friedman is also a fervent opponent to another orthodoxy of US foreign policy, the “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which the territory would be shared.

“That’s the ‘two-state solution’ – an illusion that serves the worst intentions of both the United States and the Palestinian Arabs. It has never been a solution, only a narrative. But even the narrative itself now needs to end,” Friedman wrote on the website for the religious Zionist network, Arutz Sheva.

The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, described Friedman’s views as being on the far right of the Israeli political spectrum, more hardline than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

(Source / 16.12.2016)


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