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New US ambassador presents his credentials in Jerusalem

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides (right) presents his credentials to President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem on December 5, 2021. (Lazar Berman)
US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides (right) presents his credentials to President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem on December 5, 2021. (Lazar Berman)

US ambassador Tom Nides presents his credentials to President Isaac Herzog at the president’s residence in Jerusalem.

Herzog thanks US President Joe Biden for his “longstanding genuine friendship to Israel.”

“You are coming to a more hopeful region,” says Herzog, saying that the full potential of the Abraham Accords must be realized.

Herzog also says that “Israel will welcome a comprehensive, diplomatic solution which permanently solves the Iranian nuclear threat.”

“In the case of a failure to achieve such solution, Israel is keeping all options on the table,” adds Herzog, “and it must be said that if the international community does not take a vigorous stance on this issue — Israel will do so. Israel will protect itself.”

Nides says that the two countries will work closely to counter the threat Iran poses to Israel and the region, and that the US will not allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon.

He also says that the US will support Israel’s agreements with Arab countries but that they cannot serve as a replacement for a peace process with the Palestinians.

Nides also says he will work on Israel joining the US visa waiver program.

“I will stand up against all efforts to isolate and delegitimize Israel internationally,” Nides pledges in a firm rejection of BDS.

“Chag same’ach, and todah raba,” he concludes in Hebrew.

Nides’s Hebrew school teacher from Duluth, Minnesota, is present as a surprise for Nides. Nides and Herzog will light the candles for the 8th night of Hanukkah together after their private meeting.

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