Senators Van Hollen, Duckworth Troubled by Friedman’s Nomination
WASHINGTON – Two Senators added their concern on Tuesday regarding David Friedman’s nomination for U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) told Jewish Insider, “At this moment, I do not intend to support his nomination.” The Maryland lawmaker added, “His record clearly indicates that he is not in the bipartisan tradition of seeking out the two state solution. He is much more an advocate for some kind of one state solution. I think his views are so far out of the bipartisan mainstream.”
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) shared a similar viewpoint with Jewish Insider. “I’m deeply concerned about his nomination. His past comments have been pretty incendiary, and I don’t think he would help with any type of movement towards reconciliation and a two state solution,” she noted.
On Thursday morning, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) will vote on Friedman’s nomination. No date has been announced for a Senate wide vote. Senator Rand Paul — the most independent minded Republican on the SFRC — told Jewish Insider on February 15 that he is “favorably disposed” to Friedman’s candidacy. It appears likely that all of the other Republicans on the committee will back the New York attorney propelling him to a floor wide vote.
Yesterday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) published an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle where she described Friedman as “unfit” for the posting because of his previous support of settlements and calling J Street “worse than Kapos.”