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Schumer and Gillibrand Receive 1500 Signatures from Syracuse Jewish Group Against Ambassador Nominee

Jewish Voice for Peace/ Twitter

The Syracuse chapter of a national Jewish group presented more than 1,500 petition signatures to the offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand today to protest the nomination of David Friedman as the U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Diane Swords is a founding member of Jewish Voice for Peace of Syracuse. She opposes Friedman’s demonizing of Muslims and his advocating to annex the West Bank. She says it’s important to call attention to Friedman’s nomination for such a crucial role.

“It’s about the Middle East. It’s about the security of Jews and Palestinians, so we felt it deserved a lot more scrutiny than most ambassador positions tend to get.”

Swords says Friedman’s lack of diplomatic experience and denial of the existence of Palestinian refugees among other things is enough to disqualify him. She says the petitions are part of a larger national plan to point out faults in President Trump’s set of nominees.

“This is basically a cabinet of the super wealthy and they have in mind the interests of a very small proportion of Americans, and not of the people of our country or the world.”

Swords says the group spoke to interns in Senator Gillibrand’s office, and they told the group that she and Senator Schumer have been receiving many calls opposing Friedman’s appointment. Swords says she’s happy to have sympathy from both senators since this issue hits close to home.

“I know that in my position at Syracuse University, students are afraid. Muslim students are afraid. Jewish students are concerned, so it has an influence. Even if he didn’t have power directly, it has the influence of legitimizing of this kind of extreme right wing, really, hatemongering.”

The Syracuse chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace is part of a national organization that is working for peace in the Middle East. More information is at