IPF expresses its concern over David Friedman’s nomination to serve as the next American ambassador to Israel. Mr. Friedman’s stated views on the two-state solution, Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict represent a radical departure from decades of U.S. policy. Furthermore, they represent a break with the stated policies of the current Israeli government and place Mr. Friedman far outside the mainstream in the U.S. and in Israel. In addition, we are troubled by the disparaging comments Mr. Friedman has made about certain segments of the American Jewish community.

While we respect the right of any democratically-elected leader to set his or her own policies, a Trump administration that embraces those supported by Mr. Friedman will be disastrous for Israel, American interests and broader stability in the region, and the prospects of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It risks emboldening hardliners in Israel, providing ammunition for Palestinian claims that the U.S. is not an honest broker, inflaming American allies in the Middle East, and endangering support for Israel in the U.S. by dividing the American Jewish community in an unprecedented manner. If, as President-elect Trump has declared, his administration intends to engage in helping Israel and the Palestinians reach a permanent status agreement, then it is difficult to see how Mr. Friedman’s appointment will further those efforts along in any way.

Any pro-Israel agenda cannot and should not dismiss the importance of an eventual two-state solution. We urge the Senate to closely examine Mr. Friedman’s views on this issue and to hold him to the highest possible standard in explaining how his stance is wiser and will lead to better policy outcomes than the broad consensus of American policy, Israeli policy, and expert opinion.

We further call on President-elect Trump to clearly and unequivocally state his support for achieving the goal of two states for two peoples and to set out a plan to advance that objective in a manner that would ensure Israel’s future as a secure, Jewish, and democratic state.