Reform opposes Trump's pick as Israel envoy


America’s largest religious Jewish movement has taken the unprecedented step of opposing President Donald Trump’s choice as Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.

A statement issued on behalf of American Reform organisations said he lacked the qualifications and temperament and held “extreme” views which were detrimental to peace.

The declaration of opposition came the day after Mr Friedman had appeared before a Senate committee which has to decide whether to approve his appointment.

While he has been a supporter of settlements, he told senators he would be “delighted” if Israelis and Palestinians agreed a two-state solution.

He also apologised for “offensive” comments he once made describing left-wing Jewish critics as “worse than kapos”.

But the Reform movement remained unconvinced by his Senate appearance. It said he had “no professional foreign policy experience. He has never been involved in these issues other than as a zealous partisan and financial supporter of settlement activity.”

His “extreme views” on Israel’s borders, settlements and relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem appeared to be reflected in the White House. “Such positions are detrimental to peace and a strong US-Israel relationship,” it said.

“Any American ambassador, let alone one in such a sensitive post, must possess a personality that instinctively seeks to bridge divides, rather than inflame divisions,” the Reform movement said

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