New American Ambassador Presents Credentials to Israeli President

Robyn Valdez
May 17, 2017

Friedman also mentioned Trump's upcoming visit to Israel, observing that the president had chosen Israel one of the stops on his first global trip as a demonstration that "His love for and commitment to the State of Israel is rock-solid and enjoys his highest priority".

The issue of Israeli sovereignty over the Wall came to a head this week when Israeli officials asked the team organizing US President Trump's visit to Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could accompany him on his visit to the Western Wall. The Trump administration quickly disavowed the statement, but stopped short of saying the Western Wall belonged to Israel.

His visit to the Western Wall will be the first by a sitting USA president; only presidential candidates have visited the holy site.

Both issues provoked criticism of Trump's White House in Israel as preparations intensified for his visit to the country and the Palestinian territories on May 22 and 23.

Israel will be the second stop on Trump's first foreign trip, following Saudi Arabia.

President Donald Trump heads to Israel next week where he is poised to make history by becoming the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall - one of the holiest sites in Judaism.

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Rivlin also mentioned that Israel was looking forward to hosting President Donald Trump next week, expressing "a sign of the unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States of America".

Further, the President has reportedly made a decision to delay moving the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem until 2020, breaking a major campaign promise. Jewish-American Friedman, a strong supporter of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank, entered the residence with a marching band playing. The global community doesn't recognize Israeli's claim of dominion over the eastern part of the city. "They do not reflect the us position and certainly not the president's position".

Prior to meeting Netanyahu, Friedman presented his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

David Friedman, the new US ambassador to Israel, gave his first interview since he landed in Israel on Monday to - where else?

"Deflecting the question, he said: 'No Israeli leaders will join President Trump to the Western Wall'".

After his arrival in Tel Aviv on Monday, Friedman visited the Western Wall in occupied East Jerusalem, praying there and kissing the sacred site.

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The Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City (right) and the Dome of the Rock above.

On Tuesday, local media reported that Israel demanded the USA to provide explanations for the remarks.

Speaking at a pre-election rally in October in support of Trump on Jerusalem's Mount Zion, Friedman said Trump would fire U.S. state department "lifers" who refused to move the embassy.

Tuesday, Israel's Channel 2 identified the individual allegedly involved in the confrontation as David Berns, the political counselor at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem. "Those are unworkable suggestions that are never going to be agreed upon by the State of Israel".

Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, said on Sunday that Trump was still assessing whether relocating the embassy would help or harm chances for peace. Trump, however, has vowed to break with that policy by moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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