Committee clears Trump's nominee for ambassador to Israel

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Story highlights

  • Friedman has faced criticism for past statements on Israel
  • He expressed regret over some of his previous remarks at his confirmation hearing

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump's pick for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, was approved Thursday by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His nomination heads next to the full Senate for a vote.

The committee approved Friedman, 12-9.
A GOP leadership aide said a full Senate vote could come as early as next week but is not scheduled yet.
Friedman, a New York bankruptcy lawyer, faced questions during his confirmation hearing last month over his views and past statements, many of which run counter to longstanding US policy toward Israel.
During his confirmation hearing, Friedman tried to assuage concerns and apologized for some of his comments.
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He expressed regret over some of his previous remarks and affirmed that he believed in the two-state solution, which he once described as a "scam" in a newspaper article.
Friedman also said that Israeli settlements -- which he previously strongly supported -- may not be helpful to the peace process. He further apologized for inflammatory comments during the campaign, including comparing the Jewish progressive group J Sreet to Nazi collaborators.
CNN also reported that he once accused the US State Department of having a "100-year history of anti-Semitism."
"The inflammatory rhetoric that accompanied the presidential campaign is entirely over, and if I am confirmed, you can expect my comments to be careful and measured," he said at his confirmation hearing.