Rep. Bass Statement Ahead of David Friedman Confirmation Hearing
"The U.S. relationship with Israel is absolutely critical, both for Israel’s safety and for U.S. interests in the region. I remain deeply concerned over the nomination of David Friedman as ambassador to Israel. His experience negotiating bankruptcy settlements may have required diplomacy and negotiating skills, but I find it hard to understand how that will translate onto the world stage, and his ability to represent the United States in one of the most important and volatile regions of the world.
"With no prior experience in government, foreign diplomacy, or work in the Mid-East region outside of Israel, he appears grossly under-qualified for this difficult and complex position. Mr. Friedman is on record as strongly opposing long-standing U.S. policy on Israel, and his past statements have shown him unwilling to even consider positions that differ from his own. During his confirmation hearing, Mr. Friedman disavowed previous inflammatory statements and positions.
"I believe, however, that actions speak louder than words. In particular, Mr. Friedman has been president of an organization that fundraises to support West Bank settlements. All U.S. administrations until now have opposed these settlements, and even the current administration concedes that they “may not be helpful.” His lack of qualifications and his demonstrated narrow view of what should happen in Israel indicate that the Senate should decline to confirm him as Ambassador to Israel."