David Friedman arrives in Israel to take up ambassador position


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The new U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, arrived in the country to take up his position.

Friedman and his wife, Tammy, landed in Israel on Monday and were met by the Foreign Ministry’s chief of state protocol, Meron Reuben.

He is scheduled to present his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday, and then get to work on preparations for President Donald Trump’s scheduled visit next week.

Friedman reportedly will work out of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv rather than the consulate in Jerusalem, despite his support for moving the embassy to Jerusalem, and will live in the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Herzliya. Friedman owns an apartment in Jerusalem.

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The Israeli media reported that one of the first items on Friedman’s agenda will be to pay a visit to the Western Wall.

Friedman, a longtime Trump lawyer who is heavily invested philanthropically in the settlement movement, had derided liberal Jews in columns and elsewhere over the years. He apologized for the comments in his U.S. Senate confirmation hearings.

A range of liberal Jewish groups, including J Street and the Reform movement, had opposed Friedman’s nomination, which was approved in March by a mostly party line Senate vote of 52-46.

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