Trump Taps David Friedman to Be Ambassador to Israel

Donald Trump
Donald Trump / AP
December 16, 2016

Donald Trump has nominated bankruptcy attorney David Friedman to be the United States ambassador to Israel, the president-elect's transition team announced Thursday night.

Friedman served as a top adviser to Trump during the 2016 campaign on matters concerning the U.S.-Israel relationship.

"The bond between Israel and the United States runs deep, and I will ensure there is no daylight between us when I'm president," Trump said in a statement on the nomination. "As the United States' ambassador to Israel, David Friedman will maintain the special relationship between our two countries."

The statement discussed Friedman's Jewish background as well, citing how Friedman had his Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and is fluent in Hebrew.

Trump has discussed possibly moving the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to recognize the latter's status as the capital of the Jewish state. Such a move would undoubtedly cause issues with the Palestinians and create diplomatic tension with some countries, presenting a challenge for Friedman if he is confirmed by the Senate to serve as ambassador.

Friedman issued a statement on his nomination as well.

"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," Friedman said. "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."