1. Action Alert
  2. Middle East & Iran

Tell your Senators: Oppose Friedman for Israel Ambassador

By Kate Gould, February 2, 2017


David 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.

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. Constituents should continue calling before Friedman's nomination goes before the full Senate.

Oppose Friedman for US Ambassador to Israel

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On February 15, President Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The following day, the Senate will began consideration of David Friedman as the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

Tell your senators: David Friedman is a dangerous choice for this position – and his confirmation would begin to reverse 50 years of U.S. policy.

Friedman has:

  • Supported and provided financing for expanding Israeli settlements, Jewish-only residential areas built on Palestinian land which are illegal under international law
  • Argued for Israeli annexation of the West Bank
  • Called liberal Jews ‘worse than kapos,’ Jewish collaborators with the Nazis.
  • Likened support for the Iran deal to Nazi appeasement
  • Promoted Islamophobic conspiracy theories

His nomination is opposed by a broad spectrum of Jewish organizations, U.S. representatives in the House, editorial boards, and others, including FCNL.

The Trump administration has already upended a half century of bipartisan U.S. opposition to Israeli settlements by initially stating that the administration does not have an ‘official position’ on the matter. After facing a torrent of criticism, the president appeared to backtrack partly from this statement in an interview late last week. Our Senators will be key to ensuring that this administration does not set U.S. policy on the path to permanent war in the Middle East.

Call on your senators to support Israeli-Palestinian peace by opposing Friedman’s confirmation.

For more information, check out FCNL’s resource page for more on the broad spectrum of opposition to Friedman’s nomination, and the USA Today op-ed by Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Martin Heinrich (NM) which highlights that Friedman has been a benefactor of Israeli settlements and “has demonstrated an openly hostile attitude to a two-state solution.” Also, please watch the most powerful moment of the hearing, when Sen. Jeanne Shaheen read aloud a letter opposing Friedman's nomination written by a constituent whose great uncle survived the Holocaust:

Press Release Sen. Shaheen Reads Letter from Holocaust Descendant at Friedman Hearing, Friedman Responds  

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) read the letter of constituent and Holocaust descendant Alicia Sanders-Zakre urging her to oppose President Trump’s nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.

Statement Senate Confirms David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel 

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.

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.

Kate Gould

  • Legislative Director, Middle East Policy

Kate Gould served as FCNL's Legislative Director for Middle East Policy. Kate was one of only a handful of registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C. working to advance human rights objectives and support diplomatic solutions to resolve disputes between the U.S. and Iran and the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Israel/Palestine.