Prominent Muslim group slams Friedman nomination
The American Muslims for Palestine slammed the nomination of David Friedman as US Ambassador to Israel, saying it is “wrong for America”
President Elect Donald Trump’s nomination of David Friedman is not only short-sighted and potentially destabilizing, it undermines the United States’ self-proclaimed standing among its global partners as an honest broker for peace.
The American Muslims for Palestine asserts Friedman’s nomination puts Israel’s interests ahead of Americans’ and urges senators to refuse to confirm him.
The man who has served as Donald Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer for the last 15 years has no diplomatic experience and holds biased views on the Middle East that favor the extremist settler movement.
The New York Times editorial board has said Friedman would be “far more likely to provoke conflict in Israel and the occupied territories, heighten regional tensions and undermine American leadership.”
Contrary to decades of U.S. policy that views settlements as illegal, illegitimate and an obstacle to peace, Friedman supports expansionist policies and Israeli annexation of the West Bank. He also has vowed to serve as ambassador from the “U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”
Neither the United States nor the global community accepts the outcome of Israel’s 1967 war, which resulted in the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. Countless United Nations Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 242, recognize the occupation as illegal. U.S. policy views East Jerusalem as disputed territory, whose final status should be determined thorough negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. International law and the global community consider Jerusalem occupied territory and see it as the future capital of a Palestinian state.
Even though Congress passed a bill in 1995 allowing for the U.S. embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, each president since has signed a waiver every six months prohibiting the action. In fact, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel holds this law to be unconstitutional, and all presidents since Bill Clinton have viewed it as an infringement by Congress on the presidential powers of the executive branch. Moving the embassy to East Jerusalem would inflame tensions in the region, throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds and would significantly weaken the U.S.’ stance in the international arena. It would also threaten Americans national security.
Mr. Trump’s choice of Friedman is another example of his lack of political and diplomatic experience and smacks of putting Israel’s interests ahead of the interests of the people of the United States.
For these reasons, AMP asserts the nomination of Mr. Friedman is wrong for America and we call upon the Senate to reject his candidacy for the leading diplomatic position in Israel and Palestine.