If you need to wonder how committed President-elect Donald Trump's U.S. Ambassador to Israel-designate, David Friedman, will be to the Jewish state, here's one fact to consider: 45 years ago, his bar mitzvah was held at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City.
Friedman, a renowned attorney who has worked for some of the world's best businessman, spent the past 17 months as the president-elect's top adviser on U.S.-Israel policy, and was the principle architect of his pro-Israel agenda. Now, he will cement one of the world's most important alliances as the voice of American policy in the Middle East.
"The bond between Israel and the United States runs deep, and I will ensure there is no daylight between us when I'm president," Trump said. He added:
As the United States' Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman will maintain the special relationship between our two countries. He has been a long-time friend and trusted adviser to me. His strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country as we strengthen the ties with our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East. Nothing is more critical than protecting the security of our citizens at home and abroad.
Friedman will be expected to follow through on the president-elect's commitment to further enhance the U.S.-Israel relationship and ensuring there will be "extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation" between the two countries. He is a fluent speaker of Hebrew and a lifelong student of Israel's history.
In the past, he has been a generous philanthropist to Jewish causes. These include United Hatzalah of Israel, a nationwide volunteer service of first responders providing aid to all injured Israelis regardless of race, religion or ethnicity; and Aleh Negev, one of the world's most advanced facilities for the care of severely disabled children.
"I am deeply honored and humbled by the confidence placed in me by President-elect Trump to represent the United States as its Ambassador to Israel," he said. "I intend to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the U.S. Embassy in Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem."
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