[Zaha is a co-founder of AUPHR!]

Zaha Hassan is a human rights attorney and Middle East Fellow at New America. During Palestine's bid for UN membership and Quartet-sponsored talks between 2010 and 2012, she was the coordinator and legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team. The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)Anyone interested in a just and durable resolution to the Palestine-Israel conflict should be disturbed watching the Donald Trump transition unfold. 

As Israel's military occupation over Palestinian land enters its 50th year, the President-elect has nominated David Friedman, a right-wing sponsor of Israel's illegal settlement enterprise, to serve as US ambassador to Israel. 
Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer with no relevant experience, is president of the US fundraising arm for Bet El, a settlement built on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank. His extremist record includes calling President Obama an anti-Semite and labeling American Jews who criticize Israel's military occupation "kapos," a term used for Nazi collaborators. At a time when bold US leadership is required to stop the Israelis from flying off a cliff, destroying any chance of peace, Friedman is the exact opposite of who we need in a diplomatic position. 

Both Trump and Friedman have promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, thereby recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the city. At best, in one fell swoop Friedman would serve to normalize the acquisition of territory by force. At worst, such reckless disregard for international law and the highly sensitive issues involved could egg on a diplomatic Armageddon.

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