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Trump’s envoy to Israel David Friedman joins RJC board of directors

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Former US president Donald Trump’s ambassador to Israel David Friedman is joining the Republican Jewish Coalition’s board of directors.

“I am honored to join the outstanding leadership of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group that has done so much to advance the values and interests of the American Jewish community,” Friedman says in a statement released by the RJC.

“The RJC is a respected and prominent voice against antisemitism and has a long track record of holding elected officials, from both sides of the aisle, accountable for their words and actions,” he says.

“The rise in antisemitism from the anti-Israel left, with people like the ‘Squad’ in Congress openly supporting BDS and defaming Israel, means that the RJC’s efforts are needed now more than ever. I look forward to being part of their important work.”

Then-US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman speaks during a visit in the Jewish settlement of Efrat, in Gush Etzion, on February 20, 2020. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

Friedman was an influential voice in the Trump administration, credited for playing a role in the president’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and withdraw a State Department legal position deeming Israeli settlements to be illegal.

However, he was also part of a more hawkish camp in the administration that clashed with senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, particularly when it came to Trump’s peace plan. Friedman hoped to use the proposal as a means to move forward with Israeli annexation of large parts of the West Bank — something Trump and Kushner both opposed and prevented from moving forward.

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