David Friedman, Trump's Pick For Israel Ambassador, 'Regrets' Past Comments

A bankruptcy lawyer and son of an Orthodox rabbi, Friedman is a fervent supporter of the settlements and an outspoken opponent of Palestinian statehood.

Friedman will need the votes of at least 11 of the committee's 21 members in order to gain confirmation, which is considered likely despite the criticisms. "I am uncertain of how you will represent all Americans to all Israelis and whether you are committed to a longstanding US policy to a two-state solution", Cardin said.

It was just the first way in which Friedman's words came back to haunt him. He also has infuriated many by referring to U.S. Jews who support the liberal pro-Israel advocacy group J Street as "kapos", the Jews who assisted Nazis in concentration camps. He apologized to New Hampshire's Jeanne Shaheen for offending one of her constituents whose uncle survived the Holocaust with his writings, including when he said liberal Jews "suffer a cognitive disconnect in identifying good and evil", offering to call the constituent personally.

Friedman has called President Obama, other Democratic leaders and critics of Israeli actions anti-Semitic.

"There is no excuse for my words", he said towards the beginning of the hearing.

"I'm having difficulty understand whether you really can be a diplomat", said Sen.

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"I urge the majority in Senate to discuss Friedman's appointment again and think about moving in a different direction", he added.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a close Trump ally, told Friedman he found it "fairly extraordinary" to see him "recant every strongly-held belief that you had".

He later admitted to Senator Chris Coons that "I've probably contributed to the problem". Senator Marco Rubio went further, using most of his time to rail against the proceedings as "unreal" and delivering a lengthy speech in support of Israel.

The hearing comes a day after Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington.

David Friedman, nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel, prepares to leave a hearing room on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, during a break in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

But Trump declared he also could endorse a one-nation solution to the long and deep dispute between Palestinians and Israel. CUFI spans all fifty states and reaches millions with its message.

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An EU-funded poll of 1200 people on Thursday found that 55 percent of Israelis and 44 percent of Palestinians supported a two-state solution to the on-going occupation of Palestinian lands. The ADL issued a statement during the hearing accepting the apology. "Anybody that wants to say the United States doesn't support a two-state solution, that would be an error".

J Street explains that it does not support BDS unconditionally, but does not oppose initiatives to boycott, divest from, or impose sanctions on Israel if these aid the progress towards a two-state solution, recognize Israel's right to exist, and focus only on "occupied territory" beyond the Green Line. "We have to start thinking differently".

Numerous senators invoked his comments about J Street and other combative statements he made during the campaign. "Because the zigs and the zags and the incoherence of the policy make it very hard to be reassuring to our allies - and our adversaries - about where the U.S. stands".

Trump was referring to the Jewish settlements being built on Palestinian territory in the West Bank in defiance of the US and much of the rest of the world - but which Friedman supports.

But he argued that, since then, Palestinian violence against Israel has only increased.

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