Mazel tov David Friedman on your new post! You not only get to move to Israel for a few years but get paid for it as well.
But the way you were confirmed by the Senate is shameful. To have 96 percent of Democrats vote against your nomination just because, um, just because you were appointed by a Republican president is shameful.
Shameful for you, who will perform a stellar job representing the United States in their closest ally in the Middle East. Your performance during the confirmation hearings was rated superb even by the hostile media. But we realized too late that it didn’t mean anything to those Democrats who subjected you to harsh questioning.
Shameful for me, as an American who wants his president to have the team he wants, not the team his opponents want him to have. Should President Trump have picked Ben Rhodes, architect of the awful Iran deal, as ambassador to Israel? How about John Kerry? Bipartisanship, huh?
Shameful for me, as a New Yorker whose two senators voted against you. Who would believe that the representatives of the largest Jewish population in the world would say “Nay!” to an ambassador to Israel only because his views are right of center? Chuck “Shomer Yisrael” Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand put politics before their constituents on Thursday.
Shameful for me, as a Jew who loves Israel but for the first time since Israel’s founding is forced to choose between two political parties. This is the handiwork of former President Barack Obama, whose eight years of drip-dropping antipathy to Israel and cozying up to Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood has led to this — a Democratic party who no longer supports Israel.
Shameful for the Democrats, whose “progressivism” is leading them to become regressive. Hatred of Israel is backward, not progressive.
But, whatever. Friedman is now in, and will be conveying official government policy to Israel from his home in Yerushalayim, hopefully near the new U.S. embassy. As a longtime close associate of President Trump, he will likely have the president’s ear and influence actual policy as well.
The rest of us back here in the U.S., however, must take a hard look at what Thursday’s vote showed.
Number one, are the Democrats still a pro-Israel party? You can’t support the state of Israel but not the leadership Israelis keep on electing.
Secondly, Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey showed once again that he has the backbone to do what’s right, regardless of party. He was one of two Democrats to approve Friedman’s nomination, while fellow senator Cory Booker, the man who wowed Jewish groups with his knowledge of Tanach and Hebrew, joined the rest of the party of NO.
And lastly, kudos to President Trump for nominating such a splendid, if blunt, candidate to represent his government in Israel. Coming with his nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, it made this voter glad he voted for him.