Posted on 3/9/2017 1:55:35 PM
David Friedman: One More Vote To Go (Contact Your Senators To Confirm Him)


This morning, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to approve President Trump's nominee for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. The vote was almost entirely along party lines, where all the Republicans on the committee voted for Friedman, and all the Democrats voted against, except New Jersey Senator, Bob Menendez. Arutz Sheva reporteds on it here: David Friedman approved by Senate committee.


Trump's nominee will now be voted on by the full Senate, where a simple majority is needed for confirmation. The date for this vote has not yet been determined.

David Friedman is eminently qualified to be ambassador to Israel. He supports growing the bilateral U.S.-Israel relationship, is a true friend of Israel, and is a long-time supporter of Jewish and Israeli causes. Left wing organizations led by JStreet, campaigned against Friedman's nomination, and are still fighting against him. Thus, we must continue to contact our Senators, requesting they vote to confirm him.


Please contact your Senators:



Here is a list of the Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee who voted today:


 Republicans                                                    Democrats

 All voted in favor                                            All voted against, except Menendez         

Chairman, Bob Corker - Tennessee

Ranking Member, Ben Cardin - Maryland

James E. Risch - Idaho

Bob Menendez - New Jersey

Marco Rubio - Florida

Jeanne Shaheen - New Hampshire

Ron Johnson - Wisconsin

Christopher Coons - Delaware

Jeff Flake - Arizona

Tom Udall - New Mexico

Cory Gardner - Colorado

Chris Murphy - Connecticut

Todd Young - Indiana

Tim Kaine - Virginia

John Barrasso - Wyoming

Edward J. Markey - MA

Johnny Isakson - Georgia

Jeff Merkley - Oregon

Rob Portman - Ohio

Cory Booker - New Jersey

Rand Paul - Kentucky


The views of the Democrats and Republicans could not have been more starkly contrasted than from the comments made by Senators Ben Cardin and Bob Corker. Cardin, the committee's ranking Democrat, said Friedman was problematic because he does not explicitly back a two-state solution for Middle East peace.


Corker, the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, praised Friedman as an "impassioned advocate" for strong U.S.-Israeli ties. He said, "He understands the complexity of issues at stake for the United States and the necessity to support a democratic ally in an important and unstable part of the world."

For decades, Israel has relied on bipartisan backing from Democrats and Republicans in Congress, with Democrats being staunchly supportive, and Republicans less so. Recently, this has shifted, with Republicans now strongly supportive and Democrats less so. This, of course, is reflected in today's vote.


Are the days of American bipartisan support for Israel over? There is no question that as the Democratic party has tacked left, support within the party for Israel has diminished. Based on current trends and events (most recently the latest Democratic conventions and the election of Thomas Perez as the head of the DNC, and his appointment of Keith Ellison as his deputy) there is no reason to think it will not continue. Historically, Israel has relied on broad support in Congress. As disconcerting as it may seem, it may be time for Israel to reevaluate.


The Pioneer Spirit Lives On

The Community of Ofra

(Photo: Arutz Sheva)


The original chalutzim - Israeli pioneers - have historically been the true leaders of the Zionist movement. With total dedication to rebuilding the Jewish state, they have always been on the front lines of Eretz Yisrael. In the fields draining swamps, building communities and laying infrastructure, all while defending the country - they preservered and enabled Israel to be built and eventually, to thrive.


It has been written that the pioneer days are over and the pioneer spirit gone. This is nonsense. There are so many areas in today's Israel where the pioneer spirit thrives - agriculture, medicine, water technology, military/defense and many others. It is seen today in ordinary Israelis living extraordinary lives. 


The pioneer spirit is alive throughout Judea and Samaria. Just one week after the destruction of nine homes in the Jewish community of Ofra in Samaria, plans are in place and a cornerstone has been laid, for the construction of 10 new homes.


Esther Brodt is one of the residents of Ofra whose home was destroyed. At the cornerstone ceremony, she said,

"We are here, in the State of Israel, in Ofra, in the merit of our forefathers, history, and many people who paid and are paying a price too heavy to bear. Let us stop speaking in terms of mourning and destruction and start speaking in terms of birth and flowering. Today, eight days after we were evicted from our home, we are laying a foundation stone for the 10 new houses in Ofra, among them the house of the Dalfan family and ours. In the name and honor of those who paid and are paying heavy prices, we must continue to live here, reside here, build in the Land of Israel. We must not give up. Because the struggle for the normalization of settlement, of Ofra, has not yet finished. The destruction of the 9 houses was painful, but only a bump in the road. We must continue to change the destruction into building and the grief into happiness. This is our homeland, and we have no other."



Yes, the pioneer spirit is alive in today's Israel.