New U.S. Ambassador to Israel

This week there was much support expressed for Israel in the nation’s capital. At the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, an estimated 18,000 participants heard from leaders of both major political parties about the importance of the U.S.-Israel bond, and many of those in the audience visited Capitol Hill to reinforce that message.

Notably, prior to the conference, the U.S. Senate successfully confirmed – on a largely party-line vote - President Donald Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel, U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, and this week Friedman was sworn in officially by Vice President Mike Pence in the Indian Treaty Room at the White House. Pence called Israel “our most cherished ally” and, praising Friedman, said, “You've always been quick to rise to Israel’s defense from those who would condemn her -- 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.”

For his part, Friedman highlighted that this was the first time the U.S. ambassador to Israel was the first among nominees for other country posts to be confirmed and sworn in at the start of a new presidency. “Those facts speak volumes about how highly the Trump-Pence Administration prioritizes our unbreakable bond with the State of Israel,” he said.

Another ambassador turned heads this week, too. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was regarded as a star by many at AIPAC during her visit. “The days of Israel-bashing are over,” she said. Particularly highlighting the December debacle in which the lame-duck Obama Administration refused to veto an anti-Israel UN resolution, an episode she called “embarrassing” and “hurtful,” she affirmed that she is sending the message, “Look, that happened, but it will never happen again.” Moreover, regarding an attempt to elevate a former Palestinian Authority prime minister as an official UN envoy – a move Haley thwarted – she said, “There are no freebies for the Palestinian Authority anymore.”

On a related note, recently at Proclaim 17, the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Orlando, the association’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution expressing support for Israel. Not only did the Board call on NRB members to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” and for the U.S. “to stand steadfastly by Israel, even as others malign, abandon, or attack her,” but also, they urged Christians to “reject and guard against the dangerous Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.”

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: March 31, 2017

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