Ben Cardin Is Second Jewish Senator Voting ‘No’ On David Friedman

Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, pledged on Wednesday to oppose David Friedman as President Trump’s pick for next United States ambassador to Israel, becoming the second Jewish politician in the chamber to announce a “no” vote on the controversial nominee.

“I have concluded that his past record would make it very difficult for him to serve as that unifying force… For that reason, I am unable to support his nomination as America’s top diplomat in Israel,” Cardin said in a statement Wednesday, referring to Friedman’s history of derisive remarks.

The bankruptcy attorney and Trump friend has drawn the ire of liberal Jewish groups such as J Street for calling left-wing Jews Nazi-enabling “kapos,” blasting former President Obama as an anti-Semite and backing right-wing settlement policies on the West Bank.

Cardin is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which considers the nomination before it is sent to the entire Senate for a floor vote. Friedman’s nomination is likely to pass no matter how many Democrats oppose him, given a wall of Republican support for the choice.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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Daniel J. Solomon

Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.