vendredi 24 mars 2017

Trump’s friend appointed new ambassador to Israel

L'ami de Trump est fait ambassadeur en "israel"

WASHINGTON, (PIC)

David Friedman, a longtime friend and bankruptcy lawyer of US President Donald Trump, was approved by the Senate on Thursday to serve as ambassador to Israel.
Two of the chamber's 52 Republicans did not vote and two of the 48 Democrats voted against their camp to approve Friedman.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Twitter that Friedman "will be warmly welcomed as President Trump's representative and as a close friend of Israel".

The vote saw an unprecedented partisan split over an Israel envoy: Only two Democrats, Senators Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, joined a united Republican caucus in favor of Friedman’s nomination.

Friedman faced heavy criticism from the political Left and American Jewish organizations for his rhetoric during the 2016 presidential campaign, in which he suggested former president Barack Obama was anti-Semitic and called J Street, a left-wing Jewish organization which advocates for a two-state solution, “worse than kapos.” He apologized for those remarks in his Senate testimony.

J Street put out a statement after the vote saying it was “heartened” by the level of opposition Friedman faced. “Almost half of the Senate voted to oppose this deeply unqualified and inappropriate nominee, whose predecessors had all been confirmed without a single vote cast against them,” the lobby said.

An Orthodox Jew and the son of a New York rabbi, Friedman is a bankruptcy lawyer who has worked on Trump's behalf for the past 15 years. He joined the presidential election campaign last year as Trump's adviser on Israel.

Before becoming the ambassadorial nominee, Friedman was known as a vocal supporter of Israeli causes, including the building of illegal settlements on Palestinian land in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Israeli daily Haaretz revealed recently that he was a donor to the American branch of Ateret Cohanim, a far-right Israeli group that settles Jews in key locations in East Jerusalem, and especially around al-Aqsa, the most sensitive Islamic site in the region.

He is also the president of American Friends of Beit El Institutions, which raises millions of dollars each year for a settlement outpost close to the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

english.palinfo.com

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