Ambassadors are on the entrance strains of diplomacy, the place they will head off battle or be the reason for the subsequent battle. They have to not have any conflicts-of-interest or look of battle and positively not be concerned in illegal actions, particularly not a battle crime.
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen David Friedman, a chapter lawyer, as his advisor on Israel and to be U.S. Ambassador to the State of Israel. David Friedman’s confirmation hearing earlier than the Senate Overseas Relations Committee is about for this Thursday, February 16, at 10 am.
When the Senate Committee on Overseas Relations critiques presidential nominees they've an obligation to not act as a rubber stamp, however intently study Mr. Friedman’s competency, ethics, enterprise dealings and charities to ensure he's certified and there are not any conflicts-of-interest.
Senate committee members ought to query Friedman vigorously on the areas outlined beneath, and press him to decide to defending human rights:
As talked about above, ambassadors are on the entrance strains of diplomacy, the place they will head off battle or be the reason for the subsequent battle. Friedman has a historical past of inflammatory statements. Only a few months in the past, Friedman referred to as reasonable American Jews, particularly supporters of J Avenue, a political group of American-Jews that describes itself as “pro-Israel and pro-Peace”, “worse than kapos.”
Calling somebody who's Jewish a “kapo” is an excessive slur. “Kapos” had been Jews in Nazi focus camps put answerable for different prisoners. “Kapos” are thought-about traitors to their religion and their folks. In immediately’s setting, this smear might be thought-about a inexperienced gentle for extremists to threaten these thought-about reasonable. By espousing his excessive opinions publicly, Friedman put these people liable to potential hurt.
The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 mandates that the U.S. Embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or danger a large minimize in State Division funding, however each sitting President since Clinton has postponed the transfer based mostly on the nationwide safety concern that it's a provocative transfer that may ignite violence within the area, even globally. Traditionally, civilians bear the brunt of violence within the area and gross violations of each human rights and humanitarian legislation improve in frequency.
Friedman not solely helps transferring the embassy to Jerusalem, which may result in widespread violence and human rights violations, however has mentioned that he considers settlements “authorized”, in contravention of worldwide legislation. The truth is, Israel’s long-standing settlement coverage quantities to a war crime.
Friedman has additionally publicly advocated forcibly annexing occupied territory in contravention of worldwide legislation and U.S. coverage. This, once more, is one other motion that isn't solely unlawful, however would lead on to human rights violations and the chance of violence.
The U.S. authorities re-affirmed its long-standing place that Israeli settlements constructed within the Israeli Occupied Palestinian Territories have “… no authorized validity and constitutes a flagrant violation underneath worldwide legislation” by abstaining from voting on UN Security Council resolution 2334. Secretary of State Kerry’s explicitly confirmed the established, U.S. place in his statement on Middle East Peace December 28, 2016.
Nonetheless, Friedman is just not solely a powerful supporter of settlements, however serves as president of American Friends of Beit El Institutions, a corporation that raises about $2 million a 12 months for the unlawful Israeli settlement and its extremist yeshiva. The settlement is properly often known as extremist in its ideology of growth into the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and the yeshiva, which mixes Jewish studying with military service, is headed by a militant rabbi who advocates disobeying orders within the title of an extremist interpretation of Judaism. Trump himself made a $10,000 donation to Beit El in Friedman’s honor.
David Friedman seems to be actively complicit in unlawful Israeli settlements which were the reason for widespread human rights violations, loss of life and dispossession. These critical areas of concern must be clarified, and the Senate listening to is the place to do the clarification.
The Senate should rigorously query Friedman about these areas of concern. Senators who're voting on Friedman’s affirmation should ask the query, “Is that this nominee for the Ambassadorship prepared to uphold and cling to worldwide human rights requirements?”
** To see in case your Senator is on the Overseas Relations Committee, go here. Allow them to know your considerations about Mr. Friedman’s obvious conflicts-of-interest, fundraising efforts for unlawful Israeli settlements within the Occupied Palestinian Territories and urge them to carefully query him, and safe his public dedication to worldwide humanitarian legislation and human rights.