Diplomacy

WATCH: David Friedman Sworn In as U.S. Ambassador to Israel

Former bankruptcy attorney David Friedman was sworn in on Wednesday as America’s new ambassador to Israel, with Vice President Mike Pence administering the oath of office and calling Israel “our most cherished ally.”

Before the swearing-in ceremony, Pence said that Friedman was “born for this job,” adding that “it is because of families like yours that the Jewish people are such a beautiful thread in the fabric of this nation.”

Pence further praised Friedman for being “a leader in humanitarian philanthropy to help the people of Israel in their time of need,” an apparent reference to Friedman’s support of United Hatzalah, a volunteer network of first responders in Israel.

Pence also spoke of Washington’s commitment to preserving and strengthening its alliance with Jerusalem:

This is a critical time for our two nations and our peoples. The challenges we face are many, but our resolve to overcome them has never been stronger.

Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States will always be a faithful friend to the Jewish State of Israel. And David, the President and I both know that you will help us make the immutable bond between our people and the people of Israel even stronger still.

Friedman expressed appreciation for his new role after taking the oath of office, and noted that his “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,” Friedman added. “Those facts speak volumes about how highly the Trump-Pence administration prioritizes our unbreakable bond with the State of Israel.”

During his confirmation hearing last week, Friedman said that his two main goals as ambassador to Israel would be “advancing the national interest of the United States in strengthening its relationship with Israel,” and “working tirelessly to bring peace and stability to the region.”

Friedman, 57, served on Trump’s Israel advisory committee during the president’s campaign and worked with Trump on his real estate development business for many years. He is a fluent Hebrew speaker.

[Photo: White House / YouTube ]