Donald Trump picks a hardliner as ambassador to Israel

20161217_usp513For a new American president to pick an ambassador with no experience in trade, cultural or any other form of diplomacy is not particularly remarkable. These appointments tend to be rewards for loyalty, friendship and financial backing during the campaign. What is most unusual, however, is to appoint someone who is pronouncedly undiplomatic and espouses extremist views on the politics of the country he will be sent to. Yet that is what the president-elect, Donald Trump, did on December 16th by choosing David Friedman, his bankruptcy lawyer and campaign adviser, as America’s next ambassador to Israel.

Mr Friedman has questioned the need for a two-state solution, a long-sought resolve of the conflict, hitherto backed by American policymakers, whereby Israel and Palestine would co-exist side-by-side. He compared supporters of J Street, a liberal Zionist lobby critical of some of Israel’s policies, to kapos—Jews forced to work as functionaries in concentration camps—during the Nazi regime, adding that they were far worse, because kapos were threatened with extraordinary cruelty if they didn’t collaborate with the Nazis. He subsequently elaborated that supporters of J Street were not Jewish and not pro-Israel.

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SOURCE: News Now / The Economist Online

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