I have been dismayed and outraged by a number of President-Elect Trump’s cabinet appointments and by Trump’s continuing refusal to condemn explicitly anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny, Islamophobia, and bigotry of all kinds.
As an American and someone who is deeply concerned about climate change and the need to reduce fossil fuels, who worries about the state of public education in America as the great democratic equalizer, and as someone who has served as a public servant for decades and who is finely attuned to and sensitive to the corruption that conflict of interest in leaders can cause, I am alarmed as an American citizen by the policy and ethics dimension of this new administration.
As a Zionist leader, I’m flabbergasted by Trump’s appointment of David Friedman as the new US Ambassador to Israel. Friedman’s utter lack of diplomatic experience and apparent understanding of the complexities of Middle East politics, and his outright support for the building of and expansion of Jewish settlements in the still-contested West Bank territories that are regarded as “occupied” by the international community ought to be enough to eliminate him entirely from consideration as America’s chief diplomat to Israel.
Further – his open hostility to a large segment of the American pro-Israel Zionist community in J Street who Friedman slanders as equivalent to “kapos” and anti-Israel – bodes badly for the American Jewish community and for the Jewish people as a whole.
His appointment ought to be condemned by anyone who loves Israel and who is concerned about its Jewish and democratic future.
Note: I speak here as an individual and do not necessarily represent my synagogue or any Jewish organization.