Choosing Friedman as Israel envoy, Trump jolts US diplomatic corps

WASHINGTON — The State Department’s Israel policy team comprises of career diplomats that have served under Democratic and Republican administrations for much of their adult lives, and they, throughout their time there, have built a confident consensus on how to speak publicly about the Jewish state’s conflict with the Palestinians.

These are the people behind the carefully-worded reactions to breaking news developments on the ground in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza; the people who spend months obsessing over every word of the latest Quartet Report on Middle East peace in order to ensure the document is an honest and fair representation of the truth. These are the senior State Department officials quoted anonymously in the press: public servants who, regardless of the party in power, will remain in place with all of their scars from experience.


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