JERUSALEM — The new US ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, presented his diplomatic credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in a ceremony held on Tuesday, May 16, at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
Rivlin welcomed the American ambassador, saying, “I am happy to welcome you and your dear wife to Israel, to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. I know you have been here many times before. But this time you are an ambassador, representing the United States of America, Israel’s greatest and most important ally.”
“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,” said Friedman to Rivlin.
Friedman arrived to Israel on Monday, and traveled straight from Ben Gurion Airport to the Western Wall where he prayed for the success of US President Donald Trump, who will make his first international visit as president to the state of Israel, next week on May 22-23.
“It was a long trip. We’re a bit tired, but we wanted to come straight to the holiest place in the entire Jewish world, the Kotel Hamaaravi, the Western Wall, straight from the airport,” said Friedman, whose Bar Mitzvah was at the Western Wall.
Friedman’s wife and daughter were with him, while the rest of his family is in the US. In a short video clip posted by the US Embassy in Israel, Friedman said that at the Kotel he “prayed of course for the health of my family, my children and grandchildren. I prayed for the President of the US, and wished him success, especially on his upcoming trip. I hope you all wish him success; it’s going to be an amazing trip,” said Friedman, an Orthodox Jewish bankruptcy attorney from Long Island, NY, who has a home in Jerusalem.
Friedman also recited the traditional Hebrew blessing that one says when reaching a new milestone. He referred to the state of Israel by its Hebrew term, Medinat Yisrael, saying “G-d bless the United States and G-d bless Medinat Yisrael and the unbreakable ties between them.”
In addition to Friedman, the Ambassador of Thailand, Penprapa Vongkovit and the Ambassador of Spain, Manuel Gomez-Acebo presented their credentials to Rivlin on Tuesday.