Saturday, December 24, 2016

Trump's latest ambassador appointment, David M. Friedman, a disaster waiting to happen

By SJ Otto
There are a lot of reason to fear the people President-elect Donald Trump is naming to his cabinet. Some are people determined to destroy the very agencies they have been appointed to oversee- such as the EPA, Department of Education, etc. Perhaps one of the worst appointments include New York bankruptcy lawyer David M. Friedman to be ambassador to Israel. This man has no real experience in Middle East politics directly.
According to an article in The Atlantic, Friedman has not "worked on Middle East policy," does not have "any diplomatic experience," but he has spent time in Israel and has strong opinions on the country. As the articles states "But that’s true of many American Jews, especially in the Orthodox community."
So far we know he has less interest in a peace agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinians, than the present government of Benjamin Netanyahu (בִּנְיָמִין "בִּיבִּי" נְתַנְיָהוּ) the current Prime Minister of Israel. The Atlantic article goes on to say,

"In an interview last summer with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, he (Friedman) said Trump would support Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank. He has called liberal Jews supporting a two-state solution with the Palestinians “worse than kapos,” a reference to Jews in World War II concentration camps who were assigned by Nazi guards to supervise forced labor and camp administration."

So we have a guy who wants to dump support for a two-state solution. He supports the Jewish settlements being built in the present West Bank, a territory designated as a Palestinian state or at least an autonomous Palestinian controlled area. At present the building of these settlements is leading Netanyahu to re-assess Israeli ties with the United Nations.
The Atlantic Article questions Friedman's actual knowledge of the region and the issues he has to deal with. But on the face of it, these positions raise a lot of red flags. What does Friedman believe the Palestinian are going to do when they are told that the peace agreements and negotiations that have gone one for the last 16 years or more have been scrapped? Has Trump considered the kind of war he invites by taking such a position? Friedman has also talked about move the  U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Has Trump considered the affect of moving the embassy to Jerusalem? Does he realize he may put the US army in a position of fighting ISIS almost completely alone?
From a humanitarian view point, this is a recipe for disaster. Even from the standpoint of being a US imperialist, this is not good. These positions put what little gains have been made in the peace negotiations to a position of all out war. Something has to be done with the Palestinians. They can't be expected to simply invite their own extermination. And moving the embassy to Jerusalem is a slap in the face to all Arabs and Muslims. Jerusalem is supposed to be an international city, so that the three major religions tied to that place can come and go freely. To take that away will encourage US allies, such as Saudi Arabia to move away from the US. They may not come right out and break diplomatic ties to the US but that doesn't mean they won't find ways to display their lack of enthusiasm for US support in military actions, such as the fight against ISIS.
For those who tell me we should just wait and see what Trump is going to do- I say we can already see what he plans to do by the people he is appointing to cabinet positions. Some of these people are a disaster waiting to happen. Friedman is such a disaster. Let's not wait and see what happens. Let's try and stop him now.    


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