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January 17, 2021 5:59 pm

Netanyahu Bids Goodbye to US Ambassador Friedman: ‘There Was Never a Better Ambassador’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman mark the first night of Hanukkah, at the Western Wall, in Jerusalem’s Old City, Dec. 10, 2020. Photo: Emil Salman / Pool via Reuters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid tribute to outgoing US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Sunday, saying “there was never a better ambassador.”

Netanyahu hailed Friedman for “correcting the diplomatic injustices that were created over the years in global diplomacy regarding Israel and in establishing the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and many other things some of which have yet to be told.”

“We know that you were very active in bringing about the American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, itself a correction of an injustice that is difficult to understand,” he said to Friedman.

“You also acted to encourage recognition of our sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is also so natural and so necessary both from the perspective of justice and that of our security,” the prime minister noted.

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Netanyahu also praised Friedman for helping to “change the approach” toward Jewish settlements in Judea-Samaria, changing the “definition of Judea and Samaria from occupied territories to disputed territories.”

The prime minister further thanked Friedman for his involvement in the Trump peace plan, which Netanyahu called “the first serious plan for achieving a realistic peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

“You also worked beyond this to expand the circle of peace and cancel the Palestinian veto that stemmed from denial of the State of Israel, in effect to wreck this veto and overcome it so that we would be able to reach peace with countries in the Arab world and the four peace agreements we made over the last four months as well as those that will come afterward,” Netanyahu said.

“This was a great effort that is good for the US relations, good for Israel, and good for peace,” the prime minister asserted.

Netanyahu placed emphasis on a united front against Iran, saying, “We’ve also made history by resisting Iran’s attempts to achieve nuclear weapons.”

“These are two fundamentally opposed forces — the forces of peace, moderation, and progress; and the forces of aggression, genocide and terror,” he said. “We have to be on the side of the good and fight and struggle constantly against the bad.”

“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,” Netanyahu concluded. “And I think no one has done it better than you. So, thank you.”

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