Washington (March 9, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement following his vote against the nomination of David Friedman to be United States Ambassador to Israel.
“I have always been a strong supporter of Israel. The United States has no closer ally in the Middle East than Israel, and our friendship must be continuously strengthened.
“Reinforcing the U.S.-Israel alliance requires responsible diplomacy, which includes a commitment to the two-state solution. Turning our backs on a two-state solution would reverse long-standing, bipartisan American policy and would threaten to undermine Israel’s security, as well as its character as a Jewish and democratic state.
“I am deeply concerned about President Donald Trump’s nomination of Mr. David Friedman to be the U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Mr. Friedman has made offensive remarks comparing “liberal” Jews to Nazi collaborators. He accused President Barack Obama of making anti-Semitic statements. He has supported the expansion of settlement construction. Most alarmingly, he has disparaged the two-state solution.
“During his confirmation hearing, Mr. Friedman expressed regret for his divisive comments, and attempted to temper many of his worrying policy stances. While I appreciated his responses, I am not convinced that testimony during one Senate confirmation hearing outweighs years of Mr. Friedman’s troubling remarks and positions.
“Many of my constituents have contacted my office about Mr. Friedman’s record, and I share their concerns. A lasting U.S.-Israel alliance requires a judicious and experienced diplomat who can represent all Americans to all Israelis. After carefully reviewing Mr. Friedman’s record and his testimony, I am unconvinced that he meets those qualifications, and I cannot support his confirmation.”