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January 17, 2017 3:54 pm

In Parting Words to Outgoing US Ambassador, Israeli President Calls Disagreements Over the Years ‘Friendly’

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US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Photo: Twitter.

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Photo: Twitter. — In his farewell to the departing American ambassador, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said the Jewish state and the US have “had some differences of opinion” in recent years, “but as friends.”

Rivlin told Dan Shapiro on Tuesday that “friends will take care one of each other, and sometimes criticize each other…and the people of Israel appreciate this very much.”

Rivlin also presented Shapiro with a letter to US President Barack Obama, in which he thanked the outgoing administration for its “continuing concern over the last eight years, for Israel’s safety and our ability to carry the burden of security,” a reference to the $38 billion military aid package the two countries signed late last year.

“You ensured that we could always feel confident that our needs in this area were a priority for your administration,” Rivlin added.

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Shapiro told Rivlin that it was a “great honor…to work with the Israeli government and make this relationship as strong as it can possibly be.”

In his remarks, Rivlin made no mention of last month’s passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which blasted Israeli construction in east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), and described those areas — which hold Judaism’s holiest sites — as “illegally…occupied Palestinian territory.” The motion outraged many in the country, most notably Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has charged the Obama administration with being the architects of the resolution.

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