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‘Friedman is a warm Jew’ — Israelis approve of Trump’s ambassador nominee

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David Friedman is a hit among Israelis. Donald Trump’s nominee as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel may be controversial in the United States, but Israelis see him as a “warm Jew” who will restore amity between the countries’ governments.

Both Friedman and Trump have been big supporters of Beit El, a settlement just north of Ramallah, and Shay Alon, the mayor of Beit El, told me why Trump made “an excellent choice” in choosing Friedman as the new U.S. ambassador to Israel:

Friedman is a warm Jew who identifies with the roots of the state of Israel and Judaism. He is in the know of all things that have to do with our hold on the settlements, on Israel, and Judea and Samaria in particular.

He understands the strategic importance of a Jewish presence in Jerusalem, Hebron and Beit El. An ambassador must be familiar with the multiculturalism of the place he works in, and Friedman knows the state of Israel and Judea and Samaria up close. He’s one of The Friends of Beit El, and gave his time and money to support the settlements. And he is the best person to create a bridge of great friendship between the U.S. and Israel.

I got some similar reactions on the streets of downtown Jerusalem. While most Israelis said they didn’t know enough about Friedman to comment, those I spoke to approved. One man in his sixties named Isaac, wearing dark sunglasses and gold chains around his neck, strongly endorsed Friedman.

“It’s good for America, it’s good for Israel,” Isaac said. “Look at what’s happening at universities around America… just because we love Israel they put us down. This world has to change.

“No one is scared of America anymore. Everybody is a friend of Putin in this situation. America has to walk in a different [direction], to look at the whole picture and not just the corner of the picture.

“Barack Obama did OK for Israel but not enough. There’s got to be a change. America has to understand. You see what’s going on all over the world now between those people- I don’t want to say names- and I feel like America has to change its mind about the situation. Because America isn’t as strong as she’s supposed to be… I hope Trump will take it in a different direction and he’s going to do that. He’s a businessman but he’s a very smart man too,” Isaac said.

Ozerg Dror (Photo: Mersiha Gadzo)

Ozerg Dror (Photo: Mersiha Gadzo)

A cheerful middle-aged man named Ozerg Dror commented that he agrees with Friedman’s hope of transferring the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“I don’t know the ambassador personally but I think [the appointment of Friedman] is a good thing,” Dror said. “He’s Jewish. I think to support Israel in this point, it will be good for a future agreement… And if all the nations around us see that we are supported by the United States, [it would be] better than before. The administration of Obama didn’t do as good as we think.”

When asked for his thoughts regarding Friedman’s support of Israel annexing the West Bank, Dror explained he’s concerned about security:

“Before I thought about a two state solution, but today it’s very far for me now because I am not sure that the other side is willing to do so as well. Maybe there will be autonomy or something because we need the borders to be secure. Like the Jordan valley should be [maintained by] Israeli security. Whenever we don’t have the army or police around, it’s a problem. You can see that in Gaza when we left and in the West Bank; it’s not very secure. So we need to keep our borders secure. And also we have to do the peace process. But I don’t know if the other side is willing to; I’m not sure.”

There was one dissenter. A young man named Yotam who was speed walking commented in passing: “I think the new ambassador is an asshole and I am Pro-Palestinian state and I hate this idea [of Friedman.]”

Mersiha Gadzo

Mersiha Gadzo is a multimedia journalist. Her articles have appeared in Al Jazeera, CBC, Canadian Dimension and the Middle East Eye. She tweets at @MersihaGadzo.

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22 Responses

  1. eljay on December 22, 2016, 2:57 pm

    … “It’s good for America, it’s good for Israel,” Isaac said. “Look at what’s happening at universities around America… just because we love Israel they put us down. … “

    And no wonder, given that by “love Israel” you mean that you:
    – advocate, justify, support and defend Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine; and
    – believe you are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality you would not have others do unto you.

    • rosross on December 23, 2016, 7:48 pm

      @ eljay,

      Well said.

      I truly do not believe most Americans support concepts of Jewish supremacy, a dangerous concept for Jews in general, or apartheid in any form.

      • Citizen on December 24, 2016, 10:29 am

        Most American taxpayers, voters, have not the slightest clue that Zionism is a religo-ethnocratic program essentially adverse to American values; either they never heard the word zionism or they think it’s something Hagee ilk feel they need to rapture up in the last days. Or maybe, it’s a new drug from Big Pharma…

      • rosross on December 30, 2016, 9:32 pm


        I am sure you are right. But, I do believe more Americans are becoming aware.

  2. Ossinev on December 23, 2016, 5:18 am

    Love the “Warm Jew” metaphor. So out there there must be let`s think – lukewarm Jews , tepid Jews , cool Jews , cold Jews , frozen Jews. Oops forgot hot Jews and red hot Jews.

    • Lagoon3 on December 23, 2016, 10:28 am

      I am not Friedman’s physician, so I don’t know how “warm” he really is.

      Last time I checked, I am a 37 C (98.6 F) Jew. Can you live with that, or are you one of those who only prefers Jews at room temperature?

      • Mooser on December 23, 2016, 12:45 pm

        “Last time I checked, I am a 37 C (98.6 F) Jew. Can you live with that, or are you one of those who only prefers Jews at room temperature?”

        Oh really, is this appropriate? Chill out, wouldja please?

    • genesto on December 23, 2016, 12:51 pm

      —- and let’s not forget orange Jews! (Sorry)

      • Mooser on December 23, 2016, 1:18 pm

        “—- and let’s not forget orange Jews!”

        Oh, those would be the ones who voted for trump.

  3. RobertHenryEller on December 23, 2016, 9:32 am

    “Happiness is a Warm Gun.”

    • eljay on December 23, 2016, 8:27 pm

      || RobertHenryEller: “Happiness is a Warm Gun.” ||

      And it would seem that Mr. Alon feels that Zionism is a warm Jew.

      • Citizen on December 24, 2016, 10:43 am

        Happiness is a wam jew?

      • Mooser on December 24, 2016, 12:00 pm

        “Happiness is a wam jew?”

        ‘♫ Shoot, shoot, cry, cry ♪’

  4. lonely rico on December 23, 2016, 9:36 am

    red hot Jews
    Orange Jews ?

  5. Vera Gottlieb on December 23, 2016, 10:22 am

    Well of course he is a ‘warm’ Jew…he’s still alive isn’t he? Being a ‘cold’ Jew would mean he has kicked the bucket.

  6. Misterioso on December 23, 2016, 10:25 am

    “15-Year-Old Palestinian Girl Denied Visa for US Speaking Tour”

    That Zionists and their puppets are scared to death of a 15 year old Palestinian girl says it all.
    The fact that she’s gorgeous, eloquent and courageous must drive them nuts.

    • Citizen on December 24, 2016, 10:44 am

      Yes, some of us noticed; Imagine if she suddenly appeared on US cable Tv news shows.

  7. JLewisDickerson on December 23, 2016, 2:18 pm

    RE: “Friedman is a warm Jew’ — Israelis approve of Trump’s ambassador nominee”

    SEE: “Beware the Charming Psychopath” | Posted on August 17, 2016 by Myron Beard, PhD |

    [■ IMAGE: high functioning sociopath ]

    [EXCERPT] Once again, Bob told our manager that he would be willing to take on the largest and highest-profile project in the business. Pleased with the eagerness of our coworker to volunteer, our manager smiled and gave him a thumbs-up at his initiative. But the rest of us on Bob’s team shuddered inside. When our coworker committed to the project, he was essentially committing the rest of us, because he was not about to lift a finger to get the project to completion. We knew that working with Bob meant we would be cajoled, conned, manipulated, shamed, and otherwise maneuvered into doing tasks none of us had signed up for. We also knew that, upon successful completion of the project, Bob would take all the credit.

    At first glance, an outsider would wonder why we did not have the chutzpah to stand up to Bob, walk away, tell our manager, or choose to take any number of other actions that would circumvent the inevitable problems ahead. In hindsight, we would have those same thoughts. How is it that a coworker, and an equal on the organizational chart, can get away with doing so little work and still get so much credit?

    Psychopaths in the Workplace

    Employees with personality traits like Bob’s are known as “high-functioning psychopaths.” Although Bob’s behavior is characterized by traits of psychopathy, they are not to the degree of individuals who are institutionalized perpetrators of crime and punishment. Instead, high-functioning psychopaths are driven individuals whose success is often at the expense of others and who display the following types of behaviors:

    • Consistent and persistent manipulation of others, especially those who get in their way.
    • Masterful deception (exaggerating or outright lying) to get their way.
    • Crafty deflections (distractions or half-truths) when confronted about their behavior.

    With regard to accountability, charming psychopaths can be so slippery that pinning them down is like “nailing jello to a wall.” You often sense that something is wrong, but you just can’t put your finger on what it is. The truth is that employees like Bob can be extremely charming and personable at the same time they are being ruthless and vindictive. Charming psychopaths are particularly good at managing up, and those higher in the ranks of the organization somehow (LOL – J.L.D.) miss seeing the underlying—and undermining—behaviors.

    Psychopathic Behavior

    Unlike many personality disorders that are rooted in anxiety, the psychopath has difficulty feeling at all. They crave power and control over people. The hallmark of the psychopath is an inability to experience remorse or empathy. Often, they themselves have no feelings at all. In this regard, the only relationships the psychopath is able to sustain are those that narcissistically serve his/her own interests. These relationships involve a truly sadomasochistic dynamic, in which the recipient of the psychopath’s behavior tolerates the abuse and manipulation that the psychopath dishes out. However, even these relationships tend to be short-lived.

    In contrast to the anxiety normal humans feel under pressure, psychopaths become fearless and more focused on their target or goal. The psychopath has an uncanny ability to read people and exploit their vulnerabilities. Hence, in the workplace, the psychopath is able to identify the most vulnerable of coworkers and exploit them to his/her end. They are guiltless, callous, self-centered, and can be superficially charming. Because of their unbridled confidence, they can be very attractive, initially, with their charm and stories of success. They can have the very characteristics that can appeal to executives in management, who can confuse their superficial charm as charismatic leadership. In fact, it is not unusual to see high-functioning psychopaths in the highest levels of an organization. Their focus and ability to get things done, even nefariously, can serve them well.

    ● How Corporate Psychopaths Work

    In our example of Bob volunteering himself and, by default, his coworkers to take on a very important, high-profile project, we see Bob’s craft at work at a high level. . .


  8. rosross on December 23, 2016, 8:15 pm

    What the Israelis seem not to understand is that their theocratic, Jewish elitist State is doomed.

    In fact the settlement building will ultimately be useful as there are 8 million Palestinians in the Diaspora who will have right of return when the one-state solution is in place.

    It is impossible for Israel to maintain permanent occupation and colonisation; impossible for Israel to kill nearly six million Palestinians, and even if it could drive them out, it just leaves them waiting for the one-state solution; impossible to maintain an apartheid State, which would simply grow if Israel annexes any more of Palestine…. it is impossible for the apartheid State of Israel to survive. And rightly so. It is a disgrace in the modern age.

  9. Citizen on December 24, 2016, 10:49 am

    I am only one American but nobody in my stream of connection has the slightest clue any of this is going on; if they knew what Israel actually does, they would be against it. Just saying. Still, they sure don’t go out of their way to find out.

    • rosross on December 30, 2016, 9:33 pm


      I have spent a lot of time in the US and am well aware of the ignorance in general and on this issue. You also have the worst media in the entire world which makes information of substance hard to access unless one is proactive through the internet.

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