Trump's Ambassador to Israel:
Signaling an Iron Fist in the Middle East
December 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
On December 16, Donald Trump announced the nomination of David Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel.
An Israeli newspaper described Friedman as "more hardline in his views than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu," the current leader of Israel and notorious for invading the Gaza Strip and slaughtering thousands of Palestinian civilians. An Israeli commentator said Friedman "might find a place" in one of Israel's extremist parties, "but only on its right-wing fringes." Military historian Andrew Bacevich said that if you are looking for stability in the Middle East, this signals changes that will "put us in exactly the opposite direction ... increase the possibility of violence" and "extend the conflicts that have engulfed that part of the world."
Friedman is a fanatical supporter of Israel and an all-around fascist. His orientation is to give full support to the most right-wing positions and the most rabid forces in Israeli society, and to attack and demonize the Palestinian people and anyone who supports or even sympathizes with them, including a large number of Jews in both Israel and the U.S.
Friedman says that he looks forward to doing his new job "from the U.S. Embassy in Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem." He told ABC News that State Department employees who refuse to go along with this provocative move would be fired.
Making Jerusalem Israel's capital—a city considered holy by three religions, and the likely capital of any future Palestinian state—breaks with past U.S. policy, which has combined economic, military, and diplomatic support for Israel's crimes against the Palestinians with attempts to appear as a neutral "honest broker" between Israel and the Palestinians. It amounts to putting to death even the pretense of respect for Palestinian national and human rights.
And the phrase "eternal capital" marks the official embrace by the U.S. government of Zionist religious fanaticism—the idea that "the land of Israel" was given to Jewish people by god thousands of years ago, and this "gift" remains in effect, even though the land's occupants for many centuries have been Palestinians. In other words: "our god is bigger than your god, and we've got the nukes to back that up."
Friedman is a rabid supporter of the settler movement. This is an armed movement of Zionist thugs who violently seize Palestinian land in cities and villages, drive the residents out, and build all-Jewish "settlements" as quasi-military bases for suppressing Palestinians in the neighboring areas. These settlers are the cutting edge of Israel's ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, and there is a strong genocidal current among them.
Friedman has stated repeatedly that any American Jew who criticizes Israel's treatment of the Palestinians (even those who support Israel overall) are "far worse than kapos—Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps. ... it's hard to imagine anyone worse."
Ambassadors do not make policy, they implement it. But by selecting David Friedman, Trump is signaling that his plan is to fully back Israel in its crimes, and fully unleash the most rabid racist and anti-Palestinian elements of Israeli society. Not only will this mean even more suffering and deprivation for the Palestinian people, this appointment clearly signals a more iron-fisted approach to all of the Middle East.
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