December 17, 2016

I just realized that the David Friedman picked by Trump for ambassador to Israel is the David Friedman I went to law school with.

New York University School of Law (J.D., 1981).

I remember him as a young man. Vividly!



Strange to look at that old face and visualize the young man I knew. This blows my mind. "David Friedman" is such a common name that it took me a while — I've been reading news stories about him for days — even to consider checking to see where he went to law school.

Among the many news articles: "Trump Chooses Hard-Liner as Ambassador to Israel" (NYT):
President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday named David M. Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer aligned with the Israeli far right, as his nominee for ambassador to Israel, elevating a campaign adviser who has questioned the need for a two-state solution and has likened left-leaning Jews in America to the Jews who aided the Nazis in the Holocaust.

Mr. Friedman, whose outspoken views stand in stark contrast to decades of American policy toward Israel, did not wait long on Thursday to signal his intention to upend the American approach. In a statement from the Trump transition team announcing his nomination, he said he looked forward to doing the job “from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

Through decades of Republican and Democratic administrations, the embassy has been in Tel Aviv, as the State Department insists that the status of Jerusalem — which both Israel and the Palestinians see as their rightful capital — can be determined only through negotiations as part of an overall peace deal.
What do I remember of the young David Friedman? It's hard to trust memory enough to want to say anything at all, but I believe I remember a young man who was strong and intense and happy to be different from the mass of NYU law students. 

79 comments:

David Begley said...

Does that make Althouse one or two degrees of separation from President-elect Trump?

rhhardin said...

My only public-fame classmate was Betsy Bailey, appointed by Carter to the CAB.

traditionalguy said...

You mean a Jew who stands up for the Jewish State? What about passivity claiming Jews are nothing more than ordinary people?

This is a big deal. No wonder Bibi likes DJT.

rhhardin said...

I had a lot of breakfasts with Vic Vyssotsky, credited in "The Chaostron" in _Stress Analysis of a Strapless Evening Gown_ for completing simulations by hand when computer account funds ran out.

Bob Ellison said...

I went to the same high school as Steven Spielberg and Lynda Carter and one of the cute daughters in "Eight Is Enough"! And I once peed in a urinal right next to Senator Jarlsberg, or Javits, or whatever his name was!

The Drill SGT said...

aligned with the Israeli far right, as his nominee for ambassador to Israel,

When the NYT says that, I think he might be a good choice.

Humperdink said...

I played intramural basketball at PSU against Franco Harris (and got destroyed).

Funny story about Franco Harris. My mother, who was half Irish, would listen to the Penn State football games on the radio, never saw them on television. She commented that the O'Harris guy was pretty good. She thought his his name was Frank O'Harris.

tim maguire said...

The two-state solution is a fantasy, but demographically speaking, there is no other way to ensure the survival of Israel. The Crusaders held Jerusalem for 200 years. The Muslims got it back. Short of splitting off the Muslim dominated areas, Israel will be minority-Jewish in a few decades.

Friedman has judgement issues if he continues to support new settlements (does it matter if the US ambassador supports settlements?), but he's right that Israel gets to decide where Israel's capital is.

EDH said...

"I remember him as a young man. Vividly! Strange to look at that old face and visualize the young man I knew. This blows my mind."


Listen, I know what you're worried about. You think he's going to turn into me, but I don't think it's going to happen.

He's smarter and probably a little cuter. A little less Jewy. Although, after fifty, that's all going to change. Be prepared to wake up one day with a rabbi.

But the good news is, he'll love you forever. That's in our DNA. We stick around.

donald said...

I peed next to Jon Waters. We made pleasant conversation. Top that!

Rob McLean said...

I remember him as a young man. Vividly!

Wink wink, nudge nudge, ifyouknowwhatImean ifyouknowwhatImean.

tim maguire said...

George Stephanopoulos went go my high school, he is a few years older and I didn't know him.

Humperdink said...

Trump continues his assault on Obambi's policies, even before he enters office.

With this choice, conservatives are happy, evangelicals are thrilled.

rhhardin said...

I don't remember what class I had with Betsy Bailey. Probably probability.

rhhardin said...

I lived in the same township as Anne Hathaway.

Jersey Fled said...

I went to college with Chuck Barris

campy said...

I've shaken hands with 2 failed presidential candidates. (One later became veep.)

SayAahh said...

It is always a bit shocking to see a current pic of some acquaintance from an earlier time.
We are used to see our own aging in the mirror....not so much others we haven't seen in a while.
Then think about how others who haven't seen us for some time see us.

Hanseatic L said...

I went to law school with Barack Obama. Had four classes with him. Wasn't impressed.

tcrosse said...

Our son used to go out with Amy Adams, before she dumped him.

JML said...

I know a guy who knows a guy...

SteveM said...

I was walking back to my office after lunch, at a street corner waiting for the light to change. I was looking at the guy across the street waiting to cross toward me and noticed that he had a port wine mark on his forehead just like Mikhail Gorbachev. When we passed at the middle of the street, it dawned on me that it was Gorbachev. He was much smaller than I had thought he would be.

Curious George said...

I went to high school with Mary Christmas. Yes, that was her name. Not famous. Not an ambassador to anything. But come on, MARY CHRISTMAS!

William said...

I had sex with Tuesday Weld, although technically she wasn't present at the time. There are worlds where a peaceful solution to the Israeli/Palestinian issues exists.

Laslo Spatula said...

rhhardin said...
"I lived in the same township as Anne Hathaway."

I've always wanted to enter Anne Hathaway's 'township'.

I can enter through the back door, I'm discreet.

I am Laslo.

The Drill SGT said...

I remember him as a young man. Vividly!

That's what several of Bill Clinton's accusers said...

Humperdink said...

Harry Reid: "I have a friend........ "

Bob Ellison said...

SteveM said, "When we passed at the middle of the street, it dawned on me that it was Gorbachev. He was much smaller than I had thought he would be."

The epitaph of every failed statesman.

Charlie Currie said...

FAKE NEWS ALERT: Through decades of Republican and Democratic administrations, the embassy has been in Tel Aviv, as the State Department insists that the status of Jerusalem — which both Israel and the Palestinians see as their rightful capital — can be determined only through negotiations as part of an overall peace deal.

Although, technically true, the "Jerusalem Embassy Act", which was passed overwhelmingly by congress (Senate 93-5 and House 374-37) and signed by President Reagan in 1995, says the embassy must be moved to Jerusalem by 1999. All succeeding administrations view it as a Congressional infringement on the executive branch's constitutional authority over foreign policy; they have consistently claimed the presidential waiver on national security interests.

I award it two limp Pinocchio

Charlie Currie said...

I slow danced with Jackie DeShannon, c.1965

James Pawlak said...

I also am getting very old.

Bob Ellison said...

Islam's interest in Jerusalem is kinda like Muhammad's interest in Aisha.

DrMaturin said...

@Tim McGuire

Have you been to Israel? I have. One of the most impressive sights in that impressive country was the enormous number of young Jewish families, pregnant women and young children. It's
like something in the water promotes fertility. I think that argument about demographics is decades out of date.

gspencer said...

Glad he survived the NYU culture.

gspencer said...

"I went to law school with Barack Obama. Had four classes with him. Wasn't impressed."

****

I went through 8 years with Barack Obama. Wasn't impressed either.

Mike bruno said...

"I remember him as a young man. Vividly! Strange to look at that old face and visualize the young man I knew. This blows my mind."

I've had that experience at high school reunions and such. I try to temper my pity by realizing they feel the same as that poor unrecognizable old face gazes at mine.

Mike bruno said...

Oh, and he sounds like a great pick.
(Dad and his friends are home, the college faculty lounge has left the building)

Ann Althouse said...

"Wink wink, nudge nudge, ifyouknowwhatImean ifyouknowwhatImean."

Enjoy your fantasies, but I was a married woman when I went to law school.

Ann Althouse said...

Tons of people went to law school with Obama. Why don't we ever get any interesting tell-alls?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I can't think he really once a one-state solution. But maybe he wants a three-state one. Gaza and the West Bank aren't contiguous, and haven't had all that much in common (besides Judenhass, of course) for a considerable time now.

rhhardin said...

Richard Epstein has several podcasts mentioning what a moron Obama was while on the faculty.

Invincible ignorance came up, if that's the ones I remember.

rhhardin said...

Obama was big on how things ought to work. Not at all interested in how things work.

The Drill SGT said...

Ann Althouse said...
Tons of people went to law school with Obama. Why don't we ever get any interesting tell-alls?


Because they are all leftist Dem Hahvard Law Grads?

John said...

I initially thought it was David D friedman Milton and Rose Friedman's son and one hell of a liberal. He used to call himself an anarchist.

I am disappointed but this guy looks pretty good himself.

John Henry

rhhardin said...

Radio Derb this week, quote:

That's what the political left is like, always and everywhere. They are relentless in the pursuit of power. Byron said that "love is of man's life a thing apart, / 'Tis woman's whole existence." Something similar applies to political passion: For a conservative, politics is one feature of a many-faceted life; to a leftist, it's his whole existence.

And the left is anti-realist. They don't like reality. They are in fact prisoners of the Moralistic Fallacy: the belief that anything that offends my personal sensibilities cannot be the case. Hence all the huffing about "no such thing as race." If there were innate race differences in personality and behavior, that would be emotionally offensive to CultMarx sensibilities. Ergo there can't be.

Last month's election result was a real thing, a fact in the world. So far as I can determine, there was nothing false or illusory about it. From the point of view of the political left, though, it was the wrong result. It cannot be a fact in the world because it's wrong: that is, it has caused Cultural Marxists to experience negative emotions.

Hence all the hysteria: demands for recounts, "fake news," Russian hacking, intimidation of Electors.

Hanseatic L said...

There are few tell-all stories from classmates because supporters generally are keen for the preferment his patronage can provide, and non-supporters are afraid of the retribution they may attract.

Paco Wové said...

"Gaza and the West Bank aren't contiguous, and haven't had all that much in common..."

in addition to the characteristic you mention, they both share the property of being inherently unworkable as functioning independent states.

Then again, maybe they share that with the rest of the Arab world as well.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Temujin said...

I had something to say, but seem to have been blocked out of Althouse forever. Alas...farewell y'all.

campy said...

signed by President Reagan in 1995

I hesitate to ask what Bill Clinton was doing at the time.

mockturtle said...

I may have gone to school with Ted Bundy but don't remember him. Thankfully.

mockturtle said...

Temujin, you aren't blocked. I read you loud and clear! :-)

Martha said...

I went to Wellesley one year behind Hillary! and attended her graduation as a junior in the graduation ceremony's Daisy Chain.

Hillary!'s manifold corruption, enabling of her husband's serial sexual harrassment/rapes, and her dependence on said husband for career advancement has soured my sense of achievement at being a Wellesley grad.

Wellesley fully expected to celebrate Hillary's coronation and invited alums to attend the election night celebration on campus. Wellesley's new President now claims that the country was just not readying for a strong accomplished woman to lead it. Right.

narciso said...

I went to college with the fmr Haitian prime minister, while we're name dropping.

Amadeus 48 said...

"Why don't we get any interesting tell-alls?"

Probably because knowing "that beautiful man" (to quote Althouse) made everyone feel good about themselves.

One of my personal "things not believed" is Larry Tribe's statement that BHO was the best research assistant he ever had.

narciso said...

My first experience with Thomas Friedman, was in his first travelogue Beirut to Jerusalem, where he disused the liked like republicans and lavished praise among the Palestinian

Drago said...

Why would a racist, white-supremacist nazi like Trump appoint so many people who are clearly fully onboard with supporting Israel?!

It's almost as if everything the media tells us about Trump is #FakeNews or something!

narciso said...

As it turns out, widlansky, a former times stringer pointed out Friedman got the shatila story wrong from the outset, blaming geagea rather than the other phalangist who subsequently defected to the Syrians as the real culprit

mikee said...

Odd how simply being what sounds like a mere supporter of Israel's right to exist now makes Friedman a hardliner. What would he have to do to become a crazed extremist, suggest the Palestinians stop demanding genocide of the Jews?

narciso said...

That would be ekias hobeika, who was made accountable along Beirut rules.

The times similarly had robin wright a known hezbollah sympathizer, pen a pug piece review of Terry Anderson's daughter deranged memoir, white she spends mode time attacking mossad rather then her father's captors. One of whom she forgives

hombre said...

From rhhardin 8:34: "...that would be emotionally offensive to CultMarx sensibilities. Ergo there can't be."

The observation is right on, and "CultMarx"? I love that!

hombre said...

Friedman's confirmation hearing will put the Democrats' anti-Zionism on display, which, of course, has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with pandering to leftist anti-Semites in the party.

You know, 5 million Jews from a country the size of New Jersey bullying 70 million Arabs and Persians who want to annihilate them. The horror!

Charlie Currie said...

Campy said:

signed by President Reagan in 1995

I hesitate to ask what Bill Clinton was doing at the time.

My mistake - I was reading 1995 as 1985 - guess I just couldn't get my head around Bill Clinton signing that. Ha

But, as to what he was doing at the time? I would check with Monica.

mockturtle said...

The problem with the two-state plan is that the Palestinians will never recognize Israel's right to exist and, if they are given an inch, will take the metaphorical mile.

mockturtle said...

Drago muses: It's almost as if everything the media tells us about Trump is #FakeNews or something!

Yeah. Weird, huh? [head-scratching].

Comanche Voter said...

I gather by "different" from his fellow NYU law students, he was conservative politically?

David said...

Ann Althouse said...
Tons of people went to law school with Obama. Why don't we ever get any interesting tell-alls?


Social pressure.

Big Mike said...

@Martha, there was a strong and accomplished woman running -- as VP in 2008. Also in this year's GOP primaries.

SteveM said...

A former law partner of mine went to Harvard with Obama and was on the Harvard Law Review when Obama was president of the law review. He never volunteered any stories about Obama and when I raised the subject, he always skillfully steered the conversation elsewhere. I always found that curious.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...
Tons of people went to law school with Obama. Why don't we ever get any interesting tell-alls?

He was mediocre then as now. He was socially inept and had to make up girlfriends for his book. He was a clutz and inept at pretty much every sport. He was a stoner and a below average affirmative action student. Short answer is he didn't do anything memorable while in school.

If not for a pretty face and a speech someone else wrote and he read beautifully in 2004 he wouldn't even be a footnote in history. But he was propped up by a bunch of white people and foisted on us. Despite his obvious mediocrity people like Althouse tried to displace their guilt by voting for him.

Char Char Binks said...

Have I been blocked. I feel blocked.

wildswan said...

John Humphries is running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction (DPI) in Wisconsin against the teacher's union candidate and anybody can meet him now and even help his campaign. Years from now people will be talking about how they worked on that first campaign of the man who broke with the teacher's union and brought education reform to Wisconsin.

Unknown said...

And Achilles knows this ...how?

Sam said...

My freshman proctor at Harvard was an English Lit PhD. He played pickup basketball with Obama after I graduated. He said he cheated a little. Like remembering the wrong score, that put him ahead.

Jon Burack said...

Hombre puts it well.

"You know, 5 million Jews from a country the size of New Jersey bullying 70 million Arabs and Persians who want to annihilate them. The horror!"

Bob Dylan nails it as well.

"Well, the neighborhood bully, he's just one man
His enemies say he's on their land
They got him outnumbered about a million to one
He got no place to escape to, no place to run
He's the neighborhood bully."

coupe said...

The link says he was: Counsel for Donald J. Trump in connection with his investment in Atlantic City casinos.

So there was at least two people who made money on that deal :-)

coupe said...

Why don't we ever get any interesting tell-alls?

In the military, we had a saying "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

Even if it was actually in Hamburg...

Archilochus said...

I doubt anyone who knew me at NYU Law would say I was strong or intense, but I was happy to stand apart from the rest of my classmates.

Jon Ericson said...

Read it. It won't bite you.

http://freebeacon.com/blog/nyt-meltdown-trumps-israel-nominee/