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February 22, 2017 7:31 am

Why Did David Friedman Cave on His Prior Views of Israel?

avatar by Irwin Graulich

David Friedman, President Donald Trump's pick to serve as the next US envoy to Israel. Photo: Screenshot.

David Friedman, President Donald Trump’s pick to serve as the next US envoy to Israel. Photo: Screenshot.

Golda Meir, Rabbi Meir Kahane and Louis Brandeis — true-to-life American Zionists — must be spinning in their graves. Why? Because David Friedman, who was recently nominated to become America’s ambassador to Israel, spent his entire Senate confirmation hearing apologizing for his past remarks about the Jewish state.

In the past, Mr. Friedman has boldly confronted Palestinian terrorism and incitement, and also attacked liberal Jewish groups that don’t have Israel’s best interests at heart. Yet, in a single session before the United States Congress, Friedman recanted all of his fervid pro-Israel convictions.

It was absolutely tragic to see this former believer in a Greater Israel apologize for decades of work on behalf of the Jewish state, and make a moral equivalency argument on behalf of the Palestinians.

Friedman should have stood by his words, explaining — for example — that J Street is an organization that actively lobbies the US government to undermine the policies of the democratically elected government of Israel.

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And now, after a lifetime of being on the “No Palestinian State” train, Mr. Friedman suddenly thinks that a two-state solution remains “the best possibility for peace.” What a coincidence that he saw the light on such a big issue, right after being selected by President Trump. Friedman should have defended his previous position, and explained why he didn’t believe a two-state solution would lead to peace.

Why, also, did Mr. Friedman apologize for calling Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL a “moron”? These are nasty words indeed, but they have a real purpose at times. To say that these harsh words should never be used is absurd.

If David Friedman were truly a talented representative with outstanding ambassadorial skills, he would have held true to his convictions about Israel. His previous views might actually help , not hinder, solving problems in the rough and tough neighborhood of the Middle East.

Irwin N. Graulich is a motivational speaker and columnist on ethics, morality, Judaism, religion and politics. He is also president of Bloch Graulich Whelan Inc., a leading marketing, communications and branding company in New York City.

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