Joe Lieberman: Amb. Friedman Will Perform Above Expectations

Lieberman and Kurtzer at panel

Former Senator Joseph Lieberman assured opponents of David Friedman’s nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Israel that he will perform his duties satisfactorily even beyond expectations.

“David, who I love and think will be a great Ambassador, said some things that I totally disagreed with. And all he could do is what he did at the hearing, and that’s just to apologize,” Lieberman, who is a partner at the Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman law firm, said at a symposium hosted by the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Program for International Affairs at Yeshiva University on Wednesday. “I want to assure you that David Friedman will perform as Ambassador way above […] expectations. He will.”

According to the former Democratic nominee for Vice President, the near party-line vote on Friedman’s nomination was not just about Friedman, it was about Trump, as most Democrats voted against all of the President’s cabinet picks.

Regarding Friedman’s apology over comments he made about J Street, ADL and others, Lieberman quipped, “I told him that I don’t think he has to go to Shul on Yom Kippur this year. I though he already did his Al Chets at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

Panelist Daniel Kurtzer, who was U.S. Ambassador to Israel under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, argued that Friedman as Ambassador only exacerbates the problem that already exists in the Democratic Party in terms of support for Israel. “David Friedman may be a nice guy, but he is a polarizing figure,” Kurtzer asserted. “What he said about J Street is beyond acceptable, and has written off a large segment of the American Jewish community. They may not be J Street members, but they are pro-peace and pro-Israel. We are now about to send a man who doesn’t fit any criteria for serving as U.S. envoy. He doesn’t represent Americans at large. And how can he possibly represent Israeli views when those on the Left or center-left feel alienated by his nomination. It makes no sense.”


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