In an editorial entitled "A Dangerous Choice for Ambassador to Israel," The New York Times begins (my emphasis in red):
"In appointing David Friedman as the next ambassador to Israel, Donald Trump voiced a desire to 'strive for peace in the Middle East.' Unfortunately, his chosen representative would be far more likely to provoke conflict in Israel and the occupied territories, heighten regional tensions and undermine American leadership."
Ah yes, David Friedman's appointment could undermine American leadership of the kind exhibited with respect to Aleppo. See the Times's whitewash of Obama's "benign" neglect of this horrific Syrian tragedy in its editorial on Wednesday.
Today's editorial continues (my emphasis in red):
"Mr. Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer who has represented the president-elect in matters involving Atlantic City casinos, has no diplomatic experience, unlike nearly every American ambassador who has served in this most sensitive of posts. That might not be quite so alarming if he didn’t also hold extremist views that are radically at odds with American policy and with the views of most Americans."
Okay, Friedman has no diplomatic experience, as did Thomas Pickering, ambassador to Israel from 1985 to 1988, who is now prominently listed by the National Iranian American Council as a member of its advisory board. Maybe it's to Friedman's credit that he has no prior diplomatic experience.
Friedman's extremist views? The Times writes (my emphasis in red):
"In a further sign of Mr. Friedman’s apparent zeal for confrontation rather than diplomatic finesse, he has announced that he expects to have his office in Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv, where the American Embassy has been for 68 years, along with the embassies of most other countries. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem, which has sites that are sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews, as their capital. Like the crucial questions of borders, Israeli security and the fate of Palestinian refugees and their descendants, the contested status of Jerusalem should be resolved by negotiation, not by American fiat."
Excuse me, but the Palestinians are making no claims whatsoever on Western Jerusalem, except, of course, those calling for Israel's eradication. Why shouldn't America's embassy be located in Israel's capital, as in any other country? It is high time for the United States to acknowledge Israel's capital and right to exist as a sovereign nation. Sorry, but this is not something to be "resolved by negotiation" by the P5+1. Jerusalem has been Israel's capital since it declared independence in 1948, notwithstanding ingrained US State Department hostility.
More to the point, America should again take the lead on the international stage. This role was abnegated by Obama with tragic consequences, and his dereliction of responsibility will forever stain in blood whatever remains of this president's "legacy."