February 14, 2017

Trump names Israeli ambaassador to the right of Israeli government

Alternet - Trump's nominee for ambassador to Israel, 57-year-old bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman, is not one for subtlety. In a 2016 column for far-right publication Arutz Sheva, he declared that supporters of J Street—a pro-Israel advocacy group that supports a two-state solution—are more depraved than Nazi collaborators.

“They are far worse than kapos—Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps,” wrote Friedman. “The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty and who knows what any of us would have done under those circumstances to save a loved one? But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas—it’s hard to imagine anyone worse.”

“You have a U.S. ambassador who is, in theory at least, to the right of the Israeli political system,” says Noam Sheizaf, an Israeli journalist for +972 magazine. “We have never seen such a thing.”

This month, the Israeli Knesset passed a bill allowing the seizure of privately owned Palestinian land, which will protect thousands of settlement homes. Since Trump took office, Israel has approved roughly 6,000 settler homes, prompting Netanyahu to brag that no other government had done as much to protect settlers. With Friedman’s appointment, the Trump White House just might give them a run for their money.

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