The Israeli government has been lapping it up, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praising the Donald Trump adminitrations’s “unvarnished” and “straightforward” envoy. But Democrats and left-leaning American Jews are warning that the lovefest between the Israeli and US right is further damaging the already strained bipartisan consensus in support of Israel, with potential costs to the bilateral relationship down the line.
“There is clearly a political electoral wedge being driven by Republicans, and I think President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu are contributing to that,” Ron Klein, the chairman of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, told Al-Monitor. “Israel’s not best served by just lining up with one political party. Israel’s best interest is served by maintaining good relations with both parties.”
Friedman, a former Trump bankruptcy lawyer and longtime West Bank settlement advocate, is “helping accelerate and driving this wedge between Democrats and Republicans even deeper,” Klein added. The ambassador is also reportedly in line to gain control of the US consulate in East Jerusalem, thereby undermining the Palestinians’ direct line to the State Department.
In turn, pro-Israel Democrats in Congress are singling out Friedman to vent their frustrations.