The United States Senate has confirmed David Friedman to serve as the next US Ambassador to Israel, a move welcomed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and supported by Christians United for Israel.
David Friedman, an attorney and a long time friend of President Donald Trump, has previously expressed his concerns over the two-state solution, supports Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria and has backed moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Mr Friedman was approved by a 52-46 vote. All Republican senators and two Democratic senators – Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Joe Manchin of West Virginia – supported the confirmation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed David Friedman’s appointment, tweeting “He will be warmly welcomed as President Trump’s representative and as a close friend of Israel.”
New US ambassador to Israel David Friedman will be warmly welcomed as President Trump's representative and as a close friend of Israel. 🇮🇱🇺🇸
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) March 23, 2017
The Republican Jewish Coalition also welcome the move, issuing a statement saying, “We strongly applaud the Senate in approving David Friedman as our next ambassador to Israel.”
“As someone deeply versed in the issues affecting the region, as well as being a long time confidant of President Trump, Mr. Friedman will be an effective and important voice representing the United States. With Mr. Friedman as our new ambassador, there is no question that the relationship between the US and Israel will grow stronger.”
“CUFI is very pleased the Senate has confirmed David Friedman to be the next US Ambassador to Israel,” CUFI founder and Chairman, Pastor John Hagee said.
“He is the President’s choice and is the right man for this extremely challenging post. We look forward to working with Amb. Friedman and the entire Trump team to advance our shared goal of strengthening the US-Israel relationship.”
CUFI’s effort began with the organisation’s public policy arm, the CUFI Action Fund, hosting a mid-January fly-in during which nearly 300 pro-Israel leaders from across the country lobbied their senators in support of the nomination. CUFI then followed this event with a February action alert generating nearly 30,000 emails to senators in support of the Ambassador-designate and ran full-page ads in The Washington Post, Roll Call and The Hill, urging senators to support the nomination.
Since Friedman’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, CUFI continued its efforts by holding in-district meetings with key senate offices and launching additional action alerts in select states asking CUFI supporters to call the offices of specific senators during the 24 hours preceding the floor vote.
“Christians United for Israel has worked hard to ensure that David Friedman would be confirmed, from taking out full page ads in Washington newspapers to having our membership visit with, call and e-mail every senator. We were determined to ensure that this good and qualified man was not derailed by opponents raising an unprecedented “but we don’t agree with him on policy” standard. We are pleased that the Senate has done the right thing,” said CUFI founding executive director and current Board member David Brog.
“We are very grateful the Senate has done its job by examining and now confirming the President’s pick to serve as US Ambassador to Israel. This experience shows that despite the challenging Washington atmosphere, when ordinary voters decide to speak up about issues important to them, their elected officials take note,” said the CUFI Action Fund’s Washington Director Gary Bauer.
With more than 3.3 million members, Christians United for Israel is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States and one of the leading Christian grassroots movements in the world. CUFI spans all fifty states and reaches millions with its message. Each year CUFI holds hundreds of pro-Israel events in cities around the country. And each July, thousands of pro-Israel Christians gather in Washington, D.C. to participate in the CUFI Washington Summit and make their voices heard in support of Israel and the Jewish people.