CONTACT: JESSICA ROSENBLUM, Jessica@jstreet.org
WASHINGTON – Hundreds of pro-Israel, pro-peace leaders fanned out over Capitol Hill today to deliver a petition signed by more than 40,000 people opposing President Trump’s nomination of David Friedman as the next US Ambassador to Israel.
Friedman’s nomination, which has sparked controversy at a level rarely seen in ambassadorial level hearings, awaits a vote by the Senate Foreign Relations committee before the full Senate votes. The nominee has come under heavy criticism for his close personal ties to the Israeli settlement movement and for his offensive attacks on senior US officials, sitting Members of Congress, the State Department, major American Jewish organizations and liberal American Jews.
The petitions were delivered to Senate offices today by more than 600 members of J Street, who held more than 150 meetings on Capitol Hill today as part of the organization’s National Advocacy Day. In their meetings, J Street advocates expressed strong concerns over Friedman’s extreme ideological agenda and long history of offensive and fundamentally undiplomatic rhetoric.
The petition cautions Senators that Friedman “poses a threat to longstanding US policies in the Middle East that have been supported by Democratic and Republican presidents alike.”
The signatures from around the country were gathered over recent weeks by J Street, the pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy organization, and other American Jewish groups including the New Israel Fund, Ameinu and Partners for Progressive Israel.
In addition to collecting signatures on the petition, J Street has mobilized its supporters nationwide to call their Senators’ offices to express their opposition to Friedman’s nomination. This call-in action generated thousands of calls and was the largest in the organization’s history.
J Street’s National Advocacy Day took place on the third and final day of J Street’s Sixth National Conference, which drew over 3500 delegates from around the country, including more than 1200 students. Attendees were addressed by major policy experts and political leaders including four Members of Knesset, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.