US President-elect Donald Trump will nominate David Friedman, his long-time attorney and a campaign adviser on Jewish world issues, as US ambassador to Israel, the transition team said in a statement on Thursday.
The US embassy has for decades been located in Tel Aviv. Trump had pledged during the presidential campaign to move it to Jerusalem.
“(Friedman) has been a long-time friend and trusted advisor to me. His strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country as we strengthen the ties with our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East,” Trump said in the statement.
During the campaign, Trump made it clear he would support Israel in a number of critical areas, including moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, all but enshrining the city as Israel’s capital over international objections, and not applying pressure on Israel for talks with the Palestinians. As an adviser to the GOP nominee, Friedman counseled a more conservative Israel policy. He frequently condemned the Palestinian Authority for its role in inciting terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and questioned America’s role in pushing a two-state solution on the Israeli government.
Friedman believes that Israel is a natural ally in Trump’s coming fight against Islamic extremism, and throughout the campaign, repeatedly touted his candidate as a stable and reliable ally of the Jewish state.
Friedman, who specializes in litigation and bankruptcy law, said he would 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 US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”