President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday announced the nomination of Mr. David Friedman to serve as the United States Ambassador to Israel.
Mr. Friedman, a renowned attorney who has been counselor to some of the world’s top businessmen and companies, was one of the President-elect’s principal advisors on the US-Israel relationship during the campaign.
The 57-year-old, who hails from Long Island, is an Orthodox Jew.
Speaking at the Saban Forum in December, Friedman went further, stunning liberal American Jews by saying the Trump administration would freeze out J Street, the left-leaning, pro-Israel lobby group based in Washington, D.C., which has been influential in recent years. In previous interviews, Friedman called the organization “far worse than kapos,” a highly insulting Yiddish word for Jews who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.
Friedman is the president of American Friends of Beit El Yeshiva, whose offices are located in Forest Hills, New York.
He has been married for 35 years to Tammy Sand of Miami Beach, Florida. In addition to their home in Woodmere, they own a residence in the affluent Jerusalem neighborhood of Talbiyeh, where they typically spend the Yomim Tovim along with their children and grandchildren twice a year.
When Israel proclaimed itself an independent republic in 1948, the United States was the first country to extend formal recognition of the new government. From that moment forward, the two nations have enjoyed a special relationship based on mutual respect and a dedication to freedom and democracy.
With Mr. Friedman’s nomination, President-elect Trump expressed his commitment to further enhancing the US-Israel relationship and ensuring there will be extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries.
“The bond between Israel and the United States runs deep, and I will ensure there is no daylight between us when I’m President,” said President-elect Trump. “As the United States’ Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman will maintain the special relationship between our two countries. He has been a long-time friend and trusted advisor to me. His strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country as we strengthen the ties with our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East. Nothing is more critical than protecting the security of our citizens at home and abroad.”
Mr. Friedman, whose bar mitzvah was held at the Western Wall in Jerusalem 45 years ago, is a fluent speaker of Hebrew and a lifelong student of Israel’s history. On Thursday, he expressed his resolve to be a rock-solid partner with the Israeli leadership as our two countries seek to advance our mutual interests and keep our people safe.
“I am deeply honored and humbled by the confidence placed in me by President-elect Trump to represent the United States as its Ambassador to Israel,” said Mr. Friedman. “I intend to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”
Mr. Friedman is a founding partner of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP, a national law firm with approximately 350 attorneys. For the past 35 years, he has specialized in litigation and bankruptcy law, playing a leading role in restructuring many of the nation’s most complex financial and business operations. Mr. Friedman has been widely recognized for his outstanding contributions to the legal profession, and has been named one of the 500 leading lawyers in the United States.
Mr. Friedman has been a generous philanthropist to Jewish causes, including United Hatzalah of Israel, a nationwide volunteer service of first responders providing aid to all injured Israelis, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity, and Aleh Negev, one of the world’s most advanced facilities for the care of severely disabled children.
Under his leadership and at the President-elect’s direction, the US-Israel relationship will be a model of cooperation and respect.
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