March 8, 2017
I am writing to you on behalf of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) regarding the United State Senate’s consideration of David Friedman to be the U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
EMET is an unabashedly pro-American and pro-Israel think tank in Washington, DC, committed to ensuring the national security of the United States, and our sole democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel.
Mr. Friedman had unequivocally stated at his confirmation hearings that he plans to represent President Trump, and President Trump would like some sort of a negotiated peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. We have every confidence that just as an attorney represents his clients wishes, Mr. Friedman will represent the goals of President Trump.
Having has said that, we feel it is critically important not to dismiss Mr. Friedman out of hand and simply because he has expressed skepticism with the “land for peace” formulation.
For far too long, many in the State Department have had a decidedly anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian bias, ignoring the one condition that has ever been placed on the Palestinians: to stop the incitement to violence and murder. This perspective has contributed to the continuation of a Palestinian culture that deifies the “shahid,” or the martyr, the suicide bomber and knife stabber, and demonizes the Israeli and the Jew. It has also culminated in the decidedly anti-Israel resolution in the United Nations Security Council, Resolution 2334, which condemns Israel for “illegally” building in land which Israel was forced to occupy in its defensive war of 1967, including East Jerusalem, where the holiest site in Judaism, the Western Wall, sits.
Unfortunately, for the last several years, American ambassadors to Israel have also exemplified this profound bias against Israel, and have not gotten us any closer to the goal of establishing peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. It is therefore refreshing that President Donald Trump has selected an Ambassador to Israel, Mr. David Friedman, who does not share the same biases that are so rampant within the State Department. At a time when the entire world is being plagued by the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism, it is important that we finally have an ambassador to Israel that understands the moral distinction between building an apartment in a suburb of Jerusalem and the wanton murder of innocent civilians.
The campaign against Mr. Friedman launched by his critics is based on the false notion that “land for peace” is the only possible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet, successive Israeli land withdrawals has not gotten Israel and the Palestinians any closer to the goalpost of peace. On the contrary, each land ceded by the Israelis has been used to launch missiles into Israel population centers, as is most illustrative by the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, and the raining down on Israeli population centers of more than 1,000 from that area.
Those who object to Mr. Friedman are failing to look objectively at the empirical evidence and are mired down by outdated theories and a profound failure of the imagination. They simply fail to “look outside the box.”
The two state paradigm has continuously failed, and alternative solutions, which have the potential to improve the lives and security of both Israelis and Palestinians, are feasible, and have been supported by recognized Israeli national security experts, Members of the Israeli Knesset, and Middle East scholars, among others.
Proponents of the two state paradigm incorrectly believe that the Jewish enterprise will be doomed to failure because the demographics of the Arabs will eventually outnumber those of the Jews. During the Oslo years, Israeli demographers from the Israeli Central bureau of Statistics used inflated statistics, taken in good faith, and without due diligence, from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. These numbers have been politically used to scare Israelis and Jews worldwide into conceding the geographic and topographically necessary defensive advantage to the Palestinian Authority. These inflated statistics became the foundation upon which was built the recycled, and erroneous claim that Israel cannot maintain itself as both a Jewish and Democratic State.
However, these statistics have been proven to be totally inflated, by the esteemed analyst Yoram Ettinger and Nicholas Eberstadt, chief demographer of the American Enterprise Institute, as well as by the World Bank. The correct demographic data points on a 66% majority of Jews living West of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and the demographic trends in the two populations point to a steep trajectory of rising birthrates among the Jewish population, as well as a steady migration into Israel because of accelerated spikes in global anti-Semitism, and declining birth rates among the Palestinians, as well as their steady migration out of the Middle East.
In sum, Israel can remain both a Jewish and Democratic State, without having to cede any of its land for the creation of another pro-terror state in the Middle East. The fact that David Friedman has recognized this should not be a reason to critique him, but rather, should be a reason to confirm him as the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel. The two state paradigm has been tried, and has failed, time and again, because Israel currently has no partner for peace. And the creation of a Palestinian state – controlled by the corrupt, anti-Western, and violent Palestinian Authority – is, simply put, not in the national security interests of the United States of America.
We urge you to take the above information into account, and to confirm Mr. Friedman’s nomination.
Sarah N. Stern
Founder and President