Trump's Israel ambassador pick Friedman 'will not dictate Israel policy'

US ambassadors "represent the views of President-elect Trump, and not their own views when they get elected and appointed into these positions," Reince Priebus said.

December 19, 2016 17:25
1 minute read.
David Friedman and Donald Trump

David Friedman with Donald Trump in Manhattan. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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WASHINGTON – Donald Trump’s choice for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, will not dictate the incoming administration’s policy direction on Israel, the president-elect’s top aide said on Sunday.

Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, spoke of Friedman’s nomination with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who asked whether the president- elect was moving away from America’s longstanding support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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“No, I don’t think it does at all,” Priebus said.
David Friedman at Pro-Trump rally in Jerusalem before elections: A Trump administration will never pressure Israel into two-state solution (credit: REUTERS)

Friedman has signaled opposition to such an outcome, supporting the settlement movement and questioning America’s role in encouraging Israel toward peace talks with the Palestinians.

But US ambassadors, Priebus said, “represent the views of President-elect Trump, and not their own views when they get elected and appointed into these positions.

“Ultimately, it’s their job to represent the president-elect of the United States and his foreign policy,” he added.

Friedman served as one of Trump’s two advisers on Israel throughout his presidential campaign. A bankruptcy lawyer, Friedman has no experience in diplomacy or governance.

Trump has signaled an interest in brokering Middle East peace through his sonin- law, Jared Kushner, who also has no experience but, like Friedman, is an Orthodox Jew. But how Trump will choose to proceed is still an open question. Under his leadership this year – and as Priebus served as chair of the Republican National Committee – the GOP removed any mention of a two-state solution in its official party platform.

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