1. Statement
  2. Middle East & Iran

Senate Confirms David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel

January 5, 2017


FCNL vigorously opposed the nomination and urged senators to speak out against his nomination and the dangerous pro-settlement, pro-occupation policies that Friedman has advocated. 

UPDATE: On March 23, David Friedman was confirmed by the Senate. The vote was 52-46, almost entirely along party lines.

UPDATE: On March 9, David Friedman squeaked out approval from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a two vote margin. The narrow margin of the vote reflects the growing grassroots mobilization to the pro-settlement, pro-occupation policies that Mr. Friedman has promoted.

Friedman’s record of funding illegal Israeli settlements, his support for Israeli annexation of the West Bank, and his likening of supporters of the two-state solution to Nazi collaborators should disqualify him from one of the most sensitive and complex diplomatic postings in the world. 

Select Statements and Actions of David Friedman that are Cause for Concern:

  • Leading Funder of Israeli Settlement Enterprise: Friedman is the president of American Friends of Bet El Institutions, which raises millions of dollars for one of the most ideologically extreme Israeli settlements.

  • Rejects Two-State Solution/Supports Israeli Annexation [Permanent Conquest] of West Bank: Friedman described the two-state solution as “an illusory solution in search of a non-existent problem” (2-2016) and has called for taking “the entire state of Israel, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea” (9-2016) saying “we should expand a community in Judea and Samaria” (10-2015).

  • Calls Liberal Jews ‘Worse than Kapos’ [Jewish Nazi Collaborators]: Friedman said: “Are J Street supporters really as bad as kapos? The answer, actually, is no. They are far worse than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps” (5-2016). When asked for clarification about this statement, he did not back away from this statement (12-2016).

  • Likened Consideration of Supporting Iran Deal to Nazi Appeasement: Friedman attacked Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) over his consideration of the Iran deal, writing “No matter how he ultimately votes, by making his decision such a close call—which it plainly should not be—Schumer is validating the worst appeasement of terrorism since Munich.” (8-2015)

Action Alert Broad Opposition to Friedman for Israel Ambassador 

A broad spectrum of opponents to Friedman's nomination, including Members of Congress, media, and civil society, are speaking out on Trump’s dangerous choice for U.S. Ambassador to Israel for his extreme positions.

Background David Friedman In His Own Words  

Americans for Peace Now compiled quotes from his articles and speeches so that advocates and lawmakers can understand Friedman's views.

Background Which Members of Congress are Expressing Concerns about Friedman? 

J Street is cataloging the statements of Members of Congress who have expressed concerns about Friedman. A number of Representatives have spoken out against Friedman, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has also raised concerns.

Background Statements on Trump Administration Nominees 

No one under consideration for a cabinet position or presidential appointment should get a free pass. FCNL has concerns about many of the nominees put forward. We encourage senators to ask hard questions that highlight nominees' positions on critical issues.