US Ambassador to ‘work from Jerusalem’ capital

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US President-elect Donald Trump yesterday nominated one of his top Jewish advisers during his campaign, lawyer David Friedman, to be ambassador to Israel. In his announcement, Trump said that Friedman will "serve from Jerusalem". Describing the city as "Israel’s eternal capital", Ambassador-elect Friedman said today: “I am deeply honoured and humbled by the confidence placed in me by President-elect Trump.”
by ANT KATZ with JTA, Algemeiner | Dec 16, 2016

Earlier this week Friedman briefed the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations (COP) on what to expect from a Trump presidency. Friedman had been accompanied to the COP conference by Jason Greenblatt, another Trump lawyer, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, one of his main emissaries to the Jewish community.

Trump davidfriedmanDavid Friedman is a bankruptcy lawyer who has worked for Trump for years in his real estate development business.

RIGHT: Attorney David Friedman, who has been chosen by President-elect Donald Trump to be the next US Ambassador to Israel. Photo: Kasowitz website

Friedman – who like the incumbent ambassador, Dan Shapiro, speaks Hebrew – says he intends “to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

The statement fell slightly short of Trump's campaign pledge to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but didn't close the door on the idea.

Trump made no bones about how he sees future relations with Israel: “The bond between Israel and the United States runs deep, and I will ensure there is no daylight between us when I’m president,” he said in a statement published on his transition team’s website.

Trump statement“As the United States’ ambassador to Israel, David Friedman will maintain the special relationship between our two countries. He has been a long-time friend and trusted adviser to me.

"His strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country," wrote Trump, "as we strengthen the ties with our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East. Nothing is more critical than protecting the security of our citizens at home and abroad.”


Who is David Friedman?

The 57-year-old Friedman - a Jewish Long Island native - was regularly consulted by Trump on Israel-related matters during the presidential campaign.

Congress recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 1995 and mandated the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Successive presidents, however, have used a waiver in the law, citing national security interests as US security officials believe that moving the embassy to Jerusalem, a city holy to Christians and Muslims as well as Jews and claimed by the Palestinians as their capital, would precipitate anti-American violence in the region and beyond.

President Obama increased US-Israel defence and intelligence sharing, but challenged the practice of his two immediate predecessors – Bill Clinton and George W Bush – of keeping diplomatic disagreements behind closed doors.

Early in his administration, Obama told Jewish leaders the policy of “no daylight” had not advanced peace in the region.

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1 Comment

  1. 1 nat cheiman 18 Dec
    The Palestinians will then no longer suffer delusions of having Jerusalem as their capital


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