Trump names Jewish bankruptcy lawyer who backs settlements as US ambassador to Israel

David Friedman is known as a hardliner who questions the need for a two-state solution


Donald Trump has named a Jewish bankruptcy lawyer who opposes a ban on settlements in the West Bank as the new United States ambassador to Israel.

David Friedman, who has represented the president-elect over business issues and has no diplomatic experience, has questioned the need for a two-state solution and rejects the international consensus that settlements in the territories are illegal. 

In a statement, Mr Trump said Mr Friedman “has been a long-time friend and trusted adviser to me. His strong relationships in Israelnbsp;will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country as we strengthen the ties to our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East.”


Mr Friedman, 57, said in a statement: “I am deeply honoured and humbled by the confidence placed in me by President-elect Trump to represent the United States as its Ambassador to Israel.

“I intend to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

He signalled the Trump administration's intention to overturn decades of American policy in the region by saying  he looked forward to doing the job “from the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

Currently the embassy is in Tel Aviv, with the US policy that the status of Jerusalemnbsp;can be determined only as part of a general peace negotiations.

A statement from the Trump transition team said Mr Friedman was a strong supporter of Israel.

It said: “The two nations have enjoyed a special relationship based on mutual respect and a dedication to freedom and democracy.


With Mr. Friedman’s nomination, President-elect Trump expressed his commitment to further enhancing the US-Israel relationship and ensuring there will be extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries.”


Mr. Friedman has been an outspoken critic of liberal Jewish groups in America which support a two-state solution.


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