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J Street Requests a Meeting with David Friedman

Benjy Cannon Image
Benjy Cannon
on March 8, 2017

During his confirmation hearing in late February, Trump’s nominee to be Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, claimed that he had apologized to and met with many of the groups and individuals he has slandered over the years. However, he has yet to reach out to J Street – who he has called “worse than kapos.”

We believe it is important that Friedman follow through on the commitments he made to Senators during his hearing to meet with groups with whom he disagrees. So, we asked him for a meeting. Politico reported today on the letter that Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street’s founder and president, sent to Friedman requesting a face-to-face meeting. Here’s the report:

In a letter to Friedman, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said that Friedman must meet with him before he is confirmed to prove that he willing to engage with advocacy groups that disagree with his brand of conservative politics. Friedman could be confirmed this month, Republican aides said, though he may draw significant opposition for inflammatory statements he has made about groups like J Street.

“We understand that during this process you have committed to senators that you are willing to meet with with pro-Israel organizations whose views you do not share, and with J Street specifically,” Ben Ami wrote this week in a letter obtained by POLITICO. “We would also like to clarify whether you commit to meeting with delegations of lawmakers and pro-Israel advocates organized by groups you have criticized or with whom you may disagree, including J Street. Accordingly, I am requesting a meeting with you to take place before the final vote on your confirmation.”

The letter continued: “Senators and other pro-Israel Americans should know before the final vote on your confirmation whether you stated willingness to meet with those you disagree is merely a ‘hearing room conversation,’ or whether you intend to make good on your representations to lawmakers.”

You can read the full story here.