Presenting credentials, Amb. Friedman pledges to renew Israel-US ties
In a ceremony marking his official inauguration as US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman presents President Rivlin his diplomatic credentials, highlights Jewish connection to Jerusalem since ‘the times of King David’ and hails appointment as the ‘greatest honor of my life.’
During their meeting, Rivlin called on the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's official capital a day after American officials preparing for President Trump's visit told their Israeli counterparts "the Western Wall is not in your territory—it is in the West Bank."
President Rivlin further called Friedman's attention to the fact that "Next week, we will celebrate 50 years since Jerusalem was united, and the Jewish people were able to once again pray at the Western Wall. But Jewish Jerusalem is not 50 years old. Since the days of King David, this city has been our capital. It is time for the whole world to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of the State of Israel."
Rivlin added that Israel is excitedly awaiting Trump's May visit, which he said is a symbol of the unbreakable bonds between the two countries.
"We look forward to working with the new administration to find new ways and to think of new ideas, of how to move forward and build trust between Israelis and Palestinians." added Rivlin.
Following Rivlin's statement, Ambassador Friedman opened by echoing Rivlin's nod to the the Jewish people's biblical connection to Jerusalem. "As a seventh generation Jerusalemite, you continue the connection to Jerusalem that began with King David some 3000 years ago,” he began.
“Serving the US as its Ambassador to the State of Israel, is the greatest honor of my life, and I pledge to you to do all that I can to strengthen and enhance the relations between our two great nations—that you accurately described as unbreakable and, I would add, without limits,” he added, before thanking President Trump for appointing him to his new post.
“I am so grateful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity, for having confidence in my abilities, and most importantly for sending me off this past week with the unequivocal and unambiguous mandate to support the State of Israel in every way, and in all ways," Friedman continued. "As you know, the President has chosen Israel as the site for his first international visit this coming week. His love for and commitment to the State of Israel is rock-solid and enjoys his highest priority.”
Friedman concluded his remarks by saying that he intended to work to reinforce relations between the US and Israel. “I look forward to working with you and the people of Israel to do even more to bring together the United States and Israel—in every field, from culture to education, life sciences, high technology, commerce, trade, and of course military and strategic cooperation and so many other things.”