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Don't send him here to Israel!

Trump-appointed David Friedman will contribute to an Israeli government where Netanyahu will appear as the extreme left.



Donald Trump has spit in my face. Not just in my face, but in the face of at least half of the Israeli population. He has appointed a bankruptcy lawyer named David Friedman to the job of US ambassador to Israel. This sounds like a bad joke. But that is merciless reality. So far, something is completely unknown in international diplomacy.

First of all, it is a bad practice to appoint an ambassador to a country he has close personal relations with. You do not send a Cuban-American Castro-hater as US ambassador to Havana. You do not send a Kuomintang Chinese from Taiwan as US ambassador to Beijing. True, this is not the first time an American Jew has been appointed ambassador to Israel. There have been two or three pieces that could just as well have served as Israeli ambassadors to Washington. But they were far less stiff-necked than this specimen.

David Friedman. PHOTO:

An ambassador are the eyes and ears of the homeland of a foreign land. His duties include ensuring that his superiors in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs receive reliable and objective information on which to base their policies. The ideal ambassador is a cool observer, with no strong feelings for the country he works in, neither positive nor negative. This description of a diplomat is the absolute opposite of this particular individual.

It would have been far more natural to appoint David Friedman as Israeli ambassador to the United States. Unfortunately, this record is already occupied – by another American Jew. Rumors have it that he was appointed by Netanyahu at the request of Sheldon Adelson, a Jewish casino magnate who is a staunch supporter of the most extreme right-wing in Israel. But even this person is left-wing compared to David Friedman.

The name is obviously a joke in itself. "Peace" in German means "peace", but this David is the opposite of a man of peace. By the way, the Bible David was a warrior throughout, and so God declared that it must be his son who was allowed to build the first temple.

So who is this "man of peace"? After the news of his upcoming appointment became known, the internet has been flooded with quotes from statements he has made. All are incredible, and each one more incredible than the previous one. One thing becomes clear at first glance: When this future American ambassador says "we", he means "we Israelis", "we true Israelis", "we Israeli patriots". The territory of Greater Israel, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River (at least) is "our land".

Friedman does not identify with all Israelis. He seems to think that most of us are blind, imbesile, defeatist, or worse – traitors. This would be a world record: Most Israelis, it seems, are traitors.

So what does Friedman really identify with? A representative sample of his statements makes it clear: He sees himself as belonging to about 5 percent of Israel's population: the settlers and the extreme right.

Here are some of his key points:

You are not sending a Cuban-American Castro hater as an ambassador to Havana. You are not sending a Kuomintang Chinese from Taiwan as an ambassador to Beijing.

The Arab population of Israel, which makes up about 21 percent of the population, should be deprived of citizenship. Quite similar to depriving all African Americans of their citizenship.

There is no "two-state solution". Just mentioning such an opportunity approaches betrayal. (Since I have been accused of being the first to carry this solution in 1949, this is another saliva I have to wipe away from my face.)

No settler may be removed from his "home", even if this "home" is located on the private land of Arab farmers.

In Greater Israel, from the sea to the river, Jews make up a majority of 65 percent. This is a blatant lie: In this territory, including the Gaza Strip, the Arabs are already in the majority.

The incoming President Trump should be encouraged to fire all State Department employees who defend the two-state solution.

Palestinians are corrupt.

President Obama is an "obvious anti-Semite."

Bashar al-Assad and Benjamin Netanyahu should be friends. Possibly with Vladimir Putin – truly a winning trio.

We need a world war against Islamic anti-Semitism.

American and Israeli Jews who support the Israeli peace movement are worse than kapos (concentration camp prisoners who served as prison guards – until they were killed themselves). This is especially true of the mild

and the harmless J Street organization. That includes me, too, of course.

If you feel tempted to flirt with some of these statements – do not. There is nothing to flirt with. David Friedman is a serious person. He is a famous bankruptcy lawyer. But he is not being sent here to deal with the bankruptcy of the Netanyahu regime. On the contrary, he is being sent to help form an Israeli government in which Netanyahu would be the extreme left. And this is not even an exaggeration.

Since 1967, the Israeli peace movement has been asking the United States to save Israel from itself. Every new president has been greeted with great hopes. Here is the man who will force the Israeli government to give up the Palestinian territories and make peace with the Palestinians and the entire Arab world. President Obama was only the last in line. Intelligent, pretty, engaging speech, full of high-quality intentions. But the result, as far as we are concerned, was zero. Nevertheless, we now wish he had a third term in office.

The one-state solution is a guarantee of civil war for many future generations. Anyone who is not blinded by ultranationalism and / or messianic fervor must then realize it.

I have always been skeptical of this mindset. Why would an American president risk his neck to save Israel from himself, if the Israelis are too lazy or too cowardly to do it on their own? "Once, at an international conference, I accused the Spanish and European statesman Miguel Moratinos of not doing this. He replied bishops that it was not his job to save us, but that it was our duty to save ourselves. I could not help but agree in my heart.)

It has been a long time since I gave up any hope that the US Government would help us create a historic peace with the Palestinian people and exchange the occupied territories for peace. We will have to do it ourselves. There is no other option. The alternative so-called one-state solution is a guarantee of civil war for many future generations. Anyone who is not blinded by ultranationalism and / or messianic fervor must then realize it. It's that simple.

The conquest of the remaining Palestinian territories in 1967 plunged Israel into a delirium that even today prevents us from listening to reason. The United States has, for its own purposes, encouraged Israel to continue this race. The incoming President Trump has set out to push Israel forward with all his might – forward towards a possible disaster.

A few thousand years ago, a Jewish rebel named Bar-Kokhba ("Son of the Stars") rebelled against almighty Rome. Intoxicated by some initial victories, he cried out to God, "You do not need to help us, but at least do not help our enemies!" God did not listen, and the rebellion was shattered by the Romans. The Jewish population in Palestine never recovered, until recently.

I would like to shout to Donald Trump: "If you do not help us achieve peace, at least do not send us this sworn peace-breaker."
Commentator in Ny Tid. Avnery is a former member of the Knesset in Israel. Israeli journalist and peace activist (born 1923).

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