Vice President Mike Pence hosts a swearing in ceremony for U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (C) at the Executive office in Washington, U.S., March 29, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RTX33A9L

David Friedman sworn in as the new US ambassador to Israel

President Trump’s campaign advisor on Israel was sworn-in as the new US Ambassador to the Jewish state. During Friedman’s swearing-in ceremony, US Vice-President Mike Pence reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Israel, while praising the newly appointed ambassador, for a record of compassion and care for Israel and its people.

“You’ve always been quick to rise to Israel’s defense from those who would condemn or because in your heart you know that those that hate Israel hate Israel not for what she does wrong but for what she does right. David your record of compassion and care for Israel and her people is an inspiration to the president and an inspiration to us all,” said Pence. 

Ambassador Friedman, who is a staunch supporter of moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and has for years invested in Israeli West Bank settlements, thanked President Trump for his appointment and pointed to several facts that he said speaks volumes about the high priority the Trump Administration sets on the US-Israel Alliance. 

“My thanks to President Trump for his courageous leadership, his friendship and his guidance. I am humbled by the trust the has placed in me and I will do everything that I can to justify his faith and confidence in my abilities. I’m very proud to say that my nomination represents the first time in American history that the U.S. ambassador to Israel was nominated by the president as early as the first day of his presidency. I was nominated on January 20th on Inauguration Day. I’m equally proud to say that this is the first time in American history that the U.S. ambassador to Israel was the first ambassador approved by the Senate and given the oath of office. Those facts speak volumes about how highly the Trump-Pence administration prioritizes our unbreakable bond with the state of Israel,” said Friedman. 

Friedman has been aligned with Israel’s right wing and was narrowly confirmed by the US Senate by a vote of 52-46. The level of opposition is a highly unusual for a nominee for US ambassador to Israel, a close ally of the United States. For decades, nominees from both Democratic and Republican presidents have been approved without objection, via unanimous consent or voice votes.