Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly rejects statements by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman indicating support for Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank which he says Israel “has the right to retain.” APN calls on President Trump to oppose annexation. We renew our call for Trump to fire Friedman, and urge fellow American Jewish organizations to join this effort.
Ambassador Friedman makes a mockery of longtime US policy on Israeli-Palestinian peace. He is damaging America’s national security interests, credibility and potential role as an honest broker of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He is poisoning US relations with the Palestinians and, in his efforts to advance extremist anti-peace positions, is jeopardizing Israel’s future as a democracy and a Jewish state. Friedman has a rich track-record of zealous, hardline views, dating back before he was confirmed by the Senate to represent America in Israel. He should not have been confirmed, and in the past two years has proven again and again that he is the wrong man in the wrong place.
APN documents Friedman’s words and deeds. This is a man who, prior to his Senate confirmation, used the vilest expressions vilify American Jewish supporters of the two-state solution. After assuming his ambassadorial position, he absurdly contended that Israel occupies only two percent of the West Bank, and referred to Israel’s military rule of the West Bank as “alleged occupation.”
While Friedman’s endorsement of annexation did not surprise us, we were nevertheless alarmed. Our country cannot reconcile itself to an ambassador who freelances and guides US policy, based on his private ideological convictions, in one of America’s most sensitive diplomatic missions.
We renew our call on President Trump to immediately fire Friedman.
It is clear that Trump would only recall his former bankruptcy lawyer under great pressure.
Thus, we urge fellow American Jewish organizations who support the two-state solution – and most of them do – to join us in applying such pressure.
Enough is enough. Friedman must go.