Advertisement Close

40,000 Sign Petition Against Trump's Nomination of David Friedman

posted on: Mar 3, 2017

BY: Diego Reyes/Contributing Writer

When President Trump nominated his bankruptcy lawyer and longtime friend David Friedman to be the American ambassador to Israel, controversy and opposition rose quickly. Arab and Jewish Americans have been angered over the nomination, due to Friedman’s long history of human rights violations and funding of Israel’s illegal settlements program.

As a result, J Street, the pro-Israel, anti-occupation group has taken action. With more than 600 members fanning out all over Capitol Hill, they began to hand-deliver petitions to Senate offices and held more than 150 meetings. So far, the group has received 40,000 signatures on a petition against Trump’s nomination of Friedman.

On the petition, Friedman as referred to as “a threat to longstanding US policies in the Middle East that have been supported by Democratic and Republican presidents alike.” Not only that, but the progressive Jewish organization, as well as Arab-American organizations like the Arab American Institute, has also been encouraging other supporters to call the offices of their senators to voice their opposition to Friedman’s appointment.

Although all these actions will slow down Friedman’s approval process, two powerful Jewish-American organizations, The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America, have voiced their support for Friedman, making it easier for the lawyer to win the nomination.

Many speculate that this nomination will ultimately cause more harm than good. President Trump is willing to put a lawyer with no diplomatic experience in the position, which is problematic enough. However, Friedman is also someone who refers to all Palestinians as “radical Islamic terrorist,” someone who opposes the two-state solution, funds Israeli settlements, called President Obama an anti-Semite, and called American Jews who advocate for peace as “kapos”- Jewish prisoners that worked for Nazis.

His nomination alone shows President Trump’s apathetic views on human rights and international law. Many Arab Americans gave their vote to Trump because of his seemingly unbiased stance on the Israeli, only for Trump to later say that he will be the most pro-Israel president ever.

Working alongside Trump for 15 years, Friedman has represented Trump many times; including after all of his three casinos went bankrupt in 2009. The lawyer also served on Trump’s Middle East advisory team during the campaign. His involvement in Trump’s presidency has led him to land this huge position as the next American ambassador.