By Joseph Frager, MD
On November 8, 2016, the world changed in a major way. America was falling into the proverbial abyss and the rest of humanity was going down with it. Unfortunately, that perception was not universal.
Israel stood out as a beacon of clarity and strength. The Iran Deal, which the prime minister opposed with every fiber in his soul, had put the world on a downward spiral. Iran was and still is on course to not only develop nuclear weapons with intercontinental capabilities but to control the entire Muslim world. The infusion of $150 billion into its terrorism coffers made the world a very unsafe place. Aside from a few exceptions, this was totally lost on the Democrats. Hillary Clinton can blame Vladimir Putin and James Comey on her election defeat, but she and her colleagues have lost sight of the real issues at hand. The Iran Deal, the loss of jobs, Obamacare, rising terrorism, and mistreatment of Israel were much more important. The latter is often placed much lower on the list than it should be.
The largest voting bloc in America that put Trump over the top was the Christian evangelical community. The evangelicals represent 26% of the electorate; 81% voted for President-elect Trump. The evangelicals were deeply upset by President Obama’s hostile stance towards Prime Minister Netanyahu. This clearly played a role in their opposition to Hillary Clinton.
Now enter David Friedman, President-elect Trump’s appointee for Ambassador to Israel who by his sheer presence has transformed the entire conversation about Israel. David Friedman’s appointment alone should make everyone realize how great a friend President-elect Trump is to Israel. The pro-Israel community should be jumping for joy. It is a Shehecheyanu moment. This is more than groundbreaking. It is analogous to the day Menachem Begin was elected to become prime minister of Israel in 1977 after spending 40 years in the “trenches.” Just as Menachem Begin moved the needle tremendously to fortify Israel, so too has David.
The New York Times—still licking their wounds after the “shocking” defeat of Hillary Clinton—has published two blistering attack articles against David in the three days since he was appointed. The latest was entitled “Trump’s Pick as Envoy to Israel Is Hostile to Two-State Efforts.” Isabel Kershner and Sheryl Gay Stolberg write about David Friedman: “He writes a column for a right-wing Israeli news site in which he has accused President Obama of blatant anti-Semitism, dismissed the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, likened a liberal American-Jewish group to ‘kapos’ who cooperated with the Nazis, and said American Jewish leaders ‘failed’ Israel on the Iran nuclear deal.”
Like his future boss, President-elect Donald Trump, David Friedman tells it like it is. For the past eight years, the world has been fed a steady diet of lies, distortions, and deceptions. November 8 changed all of that. David Friedman, whom I am privileged and honored to call a great friend, is not the only person to question the viability of a two-state solution. Ambassador John Bolton, who has been considered for Secretary of State, has essentially said that a two-state solution is not viable. David Friedman should be congratulated and feted for his courage, his straightforwardness, and his extraordinary patriotism. He will make sure America is safe and he will guarantee Israel’s protective edge.