Tuesday, February 14, 2017

David Friedman Will Be Confirmed Because Republicans Don't Care About Israel

Republicans understand that Israel resides in a dangerous part of the world. Its security -- its very survival -- depends on the daily navigation of increasingly choppy diplomatic waters in one of the world's most volatile powderkegs. Republicans get that. They take these things seriously.

And that's why a Republican Senate will likely confirm a Republican President's nomination of David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel.

It was sadly predictable that the GOP wouldn't care about Friedman comparing liberal Jews unfavorably with Nazi collaborators. It was a little less predictable, but still sad, that many mainstream Jewish organizations have decided to let that slide as well. But one might have though that, with all the talk about the dangers Israel faces and the difficulties it must confront in the diplomatic arena, that the putatively pro-Israel folks might insist that America's diplomatic representative to the Jewish state not be a rank amateur. The only thing thinner than David Friedman's skin is his qualification to serve as an Ambassador. A guy who casually calls other Jews "worse than Kapos" and the ADL "morons" doesn't exactly scream "diplomatic temperament."

It's one thing to blow smoke when you're an irrelevant bankruptcy attorney in New York. As Ambassador these things have consequences. If Israel sits in as precarious a position as we're often told it is, and one cares about preserving its stability and security in the face of regional and international pressure, the idea of having someone like David Friedman sit in our embassy in Tel Aviv Jerusalem Tel Aviv should be flatly terrifying.

If one cares. If one doesn't, and Israel is just a nice talking point to rile up parts of your base, then by all means confirm away.

In any event, right now Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Corker (R-TN) is refraining from endorsing Friedman until after his committee's hearings, and ranking member Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is refraining from opposing Friedman until the same. I wrote to my Senators urging them to vote against Friedman, but I doubt we'll see any significant Republican defections.

1 comment:

Pillsy said...

Oh well, at least Trump is really committed to Israel, what with his, "I dunno, how many states do you want?" policy.