Trump pick for Israeli ambassador clears Senate hurdle

AP News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2017 1:47 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's pick to be U.S. ambassador to Israel has cleared a procedural hurdle in the Republican-led Senate.

The 52-46 vote Thursday all but assures the nomination of David Friedman will be approved by the chamber.

Friedman, a combative attorney who once worked as Trump's bankruptcy lawyer, generated strident opposition from many Democrats. They objected to Friedman's past verbal attacks against people with opposing viewpoints on Israel and argued he lacked the temperament for such an important diplomatic post.

Friedman sought to use his confirmation hearing in February to apologize for using inflammatory language and pledged to be "respectful and measured" if confirmed.

The son of an Orthodox rabbi, Friedman has been a fervent supporter of Israeli settlements, an opponent of Palestinian statehood and staunch defender of Israel's government.