Multiple hecklers disrupted Thursday’s Senate confirmation hearing for David Friedman, President Trump’s nominee to serve as U.S. ambassador to Israel.
“David Friedman, you promote racism, fund illegal settlements … You do not represent us and you will never represent us,” one protester shouted.
There were multiple interruptions during the hearing, with at least five protesters taken out.
Friedman, a longtime friend of Trump’s, has voiced support for Israel’s building of settlements in the West Bank, which Israelis and Palestinians both lay claim to.
He has also advocated for Israel to annex the West Bank and opposed a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Friedman has also insulted some American Jewish groups after he said supporters of a liberal pro-Israel group were “worse than kapos,” Jewish prisoners who worked for the Nazis in Holocaust internment camps. Friedman expressed regret for this comparison in his opening statement.
“I regret the use of such language,” he said.
Friedman’s hearing took place a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Trump at the White House.
During a joint press conference, Trump urged Netanyahu to stop Israeli settlements.
“I'd like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit,” Trump said.
Trump also broke with a decades-long U.S. policy for a two-state solution.
“I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” he said.
During his confirmation hearing, Friedman tried to assuage concerns that Palestinians would not receive equal rights to Israelis should a one-state solution be pursued.
“I don't think anyone would ever support where different classes of citizens would have different rights,” Friedman said.
Friedman is expected to be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.