Wednesday, March 1st, 2017...7:06 pm

Sen. Al Franken will oppose David Friedman as Israel envoy

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By MORDECAI SPECKTOR

During an interview in his Washington Senate office on Monday, Sen. Al Franken told the Jewish World that he will vote against the confirmation of David Friedman, President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Franken said that Friedman, who testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, visited his office recently.

Sen. Al Franken (Photo: Mordecai Specktor)

“He needs the votes of every senator,” Franken commented, and added, “He’d called me a few names during the campaign.”

When Trump released his final presidential campaign video, which had strong anti-Semitic overtones of Jews controlling international banking, Franken commented that it was a “German Shepherd whistle” — not just an ordinary dog whistle of anti-Semitism.

Friedman, an Orthodox Jew who has been Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer for many years, then called Franken a “clown” and a “moron.”

“He came and he apologized for that, and I accepted his apology,” said Franken, “but noted that being an ambassador involved something called diplomacy.”

The St. Louis Park native, who is in his second term in the Senate, mentioned that Friedman seems to have modulated his position in favor of expanding Israel’s West Bank Jewish settlements. Nonetheless, Franken said, “I’m not going to vote for him.”

(An in-depth account of the Franken interview will appear in the AJW’s March 10 print edition.)

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