David Friedman, the former US ambassador to Israel, commented on Sunday on the push to pass legislation to repeal the use of the reasonableness standard tweeting: "Given the striking parallels between Israel’s current internal rift and the infighting that caused the destruction of the Second Temple 2000 years ago, why would the Israeli government proceed with its Judicial Reform bill on the eve of Tisha B’Av? Very bad timing."
Friedman, who is Jewish, was appointed to serve as the UN ambassador to Israel by former US President Donald Trump - and served in the position between May 2017 and January 2021. He served as Trump's adviser in his 2016 US presidential election campaign and as his campaign manager in Israel. He previously worked as a lawyer at the Trump Organization.
Friedman, who is also considered close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and popular among the Israeli right, was the first ambassador to move to the US consulate in Jerusalem. The move occurred due to Trump's historic speech at the White House, in which he announced that the US government recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital for the first time – and prepared to move the embassy there.
Voices are constantly being heard in the US to stop Israel's judicial overhaul. Last week, senior White House officials confirmed what was attributed to US President Joe Biden in an article by New York Times senior columnist Thomas Friedman, which said that the message that the US president conveyed to Netanyahu in a phone call last week was that the legislation should be stopped immediately - and not passed without broad agreement. Apart from those senior officials, the spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House confirmed that the statement given by Biden to the columnist is authentic.
Asked about the same article, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said: Thomas Friedman "quoted the president directly, and I will let his words stand for themselves. The president was clear in his meeting with President Herzog and in his phone conversation with Netanyahu – his relationship with Israel goes back years, it is strong and deep. We are committed to Israel's security. I will let his response in the article stand on its own."
In response to the question of whether he wants Netanyahu to stop the judicial overhaul, she said: "The president believes that the core of the US-Israel relationship is democratic values. Any change needs a broad consensus. The president was clear when it comes to judicial reform."