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David Friedman calls on ZOA to dial back McMaster attacks

Donald Trump's nomination of David Friedman for US ambassador to Israel had raised concerns about America's commitment to a two-state Middle East peace deal
WIN MCNAMEE (GETTY/AFP/File)
The Zionist Organization of America last week blasted the National Security Adviser

The US ambassador in Israel has launched a spirited defense of President Donald Trump's national security adviser HR McMaster, calling on the US' foremost pro-Israel organization to desist from its attack on the embattled general, correspondence revealed on Monday shows. 

President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), Mort Klein, released a statement divulging that he has received at least one letter and phone call from David Friedman, Trump's emissary in Tel Aviv.

“Dear Mort, As you know, I have the highest regard for the work of ZOA and for you personally," Friedman wrote to Klein, according to the latter's statement. "I am constrained to point out, however, my belief that ZOA was mistaken in its recent call for the resignation or reassignment of two people with whom I work closely, Secretary Tillerson and General McMaster…”

Klein's statement added that Friedman "has in writing and by phone informed me that he disagrees with ZOA’s concerns about McMaster/Tillerson and would like to 'attempt to convince' me that we should change our position and is hoping I 'will keep an open mind'." 

However despite saying that "I and we at ZOA welcome any new or different information or thoughts or opinions that the Ambassador might have or has that we need to and will consider," Klein then doubled down on his previous criticisms of McMaster, who has come under a barrage of complaints from right-wingers, including in Israel, for purportedly being biased against the state and soft on terror.

The statement went on to enumerate the organization's problems with McMaster, arguing that "it's revealing, troubling and illuminating that extreme leftists that are hostile to Israel and Trump have defended McMaster, yet never defended David Friedman" and that supporters of McMaster include "left wing, Trump-hating, Soros-funded anti Israel group Media Matters", among other groups the ZOA deems as anti-Israel.

Olivier Douliery (AFP)

The statement further declared that "the strong critics of McMaster are the strongest pro-Israel supporters and the strongest opponents of the Iran deal and Radical Islamic terrorism".

"Despite all our deep concerns based on the facts, I and ZOA will be happy to respectfully listen to and read any information or insights on this issue that Ambassador Friedman wishes to share," Klein wrote.

Trump was forced to defend his top national security official in the face of the onslaught of complaints about his positions, which began after he started working with new White House chief of staff John Kelly to purge the national security council of staffers from the nationalist wing of Trump's base.

A major plank of the invective directed at the White House's most senior national security expert has focused on his alleged bias against Israel.

Israeli journalist Caroline Glick wrote on Facebook that "McMaster ... is deeply hostile to Israel and to Trump. According to senior officials aware of his behavior, he constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power and insists falsely and constantly that a country named Palestine existed where Israel is located until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Jews."

Yet at the same time, criticism of McMaster has also taken on an anti-Semitic hue.

The US-based Anti-Defamation League wrote on Thursday that the anti-McMaster campaign is spearheaded by "alt-lite" radio host Mike Cernovich, a supporter of Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon.

The ADL said that Cernovich appears to have commissioned a plainly anti-Semitic cartoon that shows McMaster being controlled on puppet strings by Jewish billionaire George Soros, who in turn is being puppeteered by a hand bearing the name "Rothschilds".

On Saturday, a few hours after Trump's statement, a senior Israeli military chief was quoted in Haaretz newspaper expressing support for McMaster.

"All on our side who has met McMaster and keeps contact with him are constantly impressed by how pro-Israel he is. The relationship with him is excellent, and we really appreciate him," the senior official was quoted as saying.

Read more: US Zionist organization slams McMaster for being anti-Israel, calls for removal

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Comments

(2)

The left still controls the SD.

The IDF are also full of leftists.

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