Sources: Netanyahu Is Pleased With Trump's Choice of Friedman for Israeli Ambassador

Deputy foreign minister describes appointment as 'good news for Israel' while Meretz leader calls it 'catastrophic,' saying Netanyahu couldn't have wished for better.

Barak Ravid
Haaretz
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Billionaire real estate developer Donald J. Trump, center, his daughter Ivanka Trump, right, and attorney David Friedman exit U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Camden, New Jersey, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010.
Attorney David Friedman with billionaire real estate developer Donald J. Trump, center, his daughter Ivanka Trump, right, in 2010.Credit: Bloomberg
Barak Ravid
Haaretz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pleased with President-elect Donald Trump's pick of David Friedman as the next United States ambassador to Israel, sources close to the premier say.

The prime minister knows that Trump has full confidence in Friedman and expects to work closely with him.

>> Be the first to get updates on Israel and Trump: Download our App, sign up to Breaking News Alerts, and Subscribe

Responding to Friedman's appointment on Saturday, opposition leader and Zionist Union Chairman Isaac Herzog said he expects the incoming envoy to accept that the the majority of Israelis may not agree with some of his positions with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"I don't think Israel should intervene in U.S. government appointments," he said in a political forum in Tel Aviv. "However, I expect the designated ambassador to recognize that most of the Israeli public isn't willing to annex three million Palestinians, but wants to separate from them and believes in the two-state vision for peace with the Palestinians and our neighbors."

Right-wing politicians Israeli politicians echoed Netanyahu's sentiment on Friedman over the weekend. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely "welcomed" the nomination of Friedman on her Facebook page, describing it as "good news for Israel."

"His positions encapsulate the desire to strengthen the status of Israel's capital, Jerusalem, and the understanding that settlements have never been the real problem in the region," Hotovely said.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett wished Friedman good luck, describing him as "a great friend of Israel."

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said that he looked forward to working with Friedman "in his rightful office in our capital, Jerusalem."

The Yesha Council, which represents West Bank settlers, said in a statement that Friedman "loves all of the Land of Israel and the People of Israel, including the settlers in Yehuda and Shomron."

"I am certain that his knowledge and understanding of the needs of Israel will assist him in strengthening the links between Israel and the United states," said Oded Ravivi, head of the municipal council of the settlement Efrat.

On the other hand, Zehava Galon, the leader of the left-wing Meretz party, called Friedman's appointment "catastrophic."

"I love the Jews in the United States and am sure that they know better than anyone – about how the two-state solution is not appropriate and that the peace process is a failed idea – while we pay the price of unnecessary wars," Galon said at a conference of the Limmud organization in Eilat on Friday.

"Netanyahu couldn't have wished for a better ambassador," she said.

Friday's editorial in The New York Times attacked the appointment, calling it a dangerous move. The editorial board stated that Trump's choice of Friedman showed "dangerous ignorance of or indifference to the land mines across the Middle East." It called on the U.S. Senate not to confirm the appointment, and to save Trump from the "reckless" decision.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism