U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement following his vote in the committee in favor of David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
"Today, I cast my vote to confirm David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel. In recent weeks, I have heard from many constituents with a passion for the U.S.-Israel relationship and with different views on Mr. Friedman's nomination. I appreciate many of the concerns raised, and had the opportunity to raise them directly to Mr. Friedman in private conversations and during his confirmation hearing.
"We discussed his commitment not just to America's national security and the U.S.-Israel relationship, but also his commitment to supporting Israelis and Palestinians in their efforts to negotiate a two-state solution, and the right of the Palestinian people to self-governance and prosperity. Mr. Friedman also spoke of his past work promoting economic development and opportunity in the West Bank, and his philanthropic support for nonprofit organizations like Hatzalah, which brings Jewish, Muslim, and Christian volunteer first responders together to save lives.
"The U.S.-Israel relationship is grounded in our shared democratic values and fortified by strong bipartisan support in Congress. I believe maintaining that bipartisan support is critical, and that it is vitally important we enjoy open channels of communication with our Ambassador. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress, the State Department and Mr. Friedman to advance the U.S.-Israel relationship, engage regional partners, and build a foundation for peace."