The vote reflected party affiliations, with all 11 Republicans supporting Friedman’s nomination, while New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez was the only Democrat to vote for Friedman.
Friedman was grilled by the committee for his harsh public statements against former President Obama, who he called a “blatant anti-Semite” for his deal with Iran that removed sanctions while allowing them to continue their nuclear program. He also referred to J Street, the extreme left-wing Jewish group, as “Kapos”, Jews who helped the Nazis in World War II.
“The region is incredibly volatile. The last thing we need in this position is someone who has a penchant for over-the-top, hyperbolic, and even false statements,” criticized Democratic Senator Tim Kaine . At least one Democrat on the committee expressed doubts about Friedman due to his criticism of the two-state solution.
Friedman is pro-Israel, speaks Hebrew fluently, and owns a house in Jerusalem. He has endorsed Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and annexing land in those regions. An Orthodox Jew and the son of a rabbi, his middle name is Melech (king).