Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heaps praise on outgoing US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman for “correcting diplomatic injustices” regarding the Jewish state during his term.
“I must say that over the years I have met many ambassadors from many countries, including from the US, our great ally, but I can say that there was never a better ambassador than David Friedman in establishing the deep ties between Israel and the US, in correcting the diplomatic injustices that were created over the years in global diplomacy regarding Israel… and many other things some of which have yet to be told,” Netanyahu says at a farewell event at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
Netanyahu mentions Friedman’s role in the decisions by the Trump administration to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, to declare West Bank settlements not illegal and expand their legitimacy, and to combat Iran’s influence in the region.
He also praises Friedman’s involvement in the Trump peace plan and in achieving normalization agreements with four Arab countries.
The premier hails the Middle East peace plan’s emphasis on “the need for the Palestinians to recognize the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people.”
“The absence of this recognition is the root of the conflict,” he says. “This is what has been maintaining this conflict for over 100 years since before the establishment of the State of Israel: The denial of the Balfour Declaration, the denial of the partition plan, the denial of all those signs and steps that would recognize our right to a national state of our own in our historic homeland.”
The plan has been utterly rejected by Palestinians.
Regarding Iran, Netanyahu says: “We have to be on the side of the good and fight and struggle constantly against the bad. It’s not only for the sake of Israel and the United States, it’s for the sake of all those who live in the Middle East, and beyond the Middle East, who want to see a better world, a safer world and a world that is free of the greatest terror of them all – nuclear terror.”
“We are really appreciative of your love for Israel, your commitment as an American patriot to strengthening America, to strengthen freedom, to fight for the common values that bind Americans and Israelis together,” he concludes. “And I think no one has done it better than you. So thank you.”