It was in its death throes, but by nominating David Friedman to be our ambassador to Israel, Donald Trump delivered it a mortal blow. Friedman has already promised to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and, according to The New York Times, also believes that Israel should annex the West Bank and build further settlements. This puts him to the right of the Obama administration—and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Friedman’s nomination is also a blow to Jewish critics of Israeli policies. He is a vitriolic critic of Jewish doves and even compared J Street to kapos in an editorial for Arutz Shvetz:
“The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty and who knows what any of us would have done under those circumstances to save a loved one? But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas—it’s hard to imagine anyone worse,” Friedman wrote.
This is bad for peace and good if you own a website about Armageddon. Friedman’s policies directly contradict ongoing American peace efforts (such as they are) and threaten to destabilize an already volatile situation. Trump has hardly ever been an advocate for Palestinians, but it’s obvious now that his incoming administration will pose an existential threat to their future.