US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also spoke at the AIPAC policy conference last week (video below, text here). My friends who attended the conference and commended Ambassador Haley’s speech to me also commended Friedmans’s. They declared his speech, if not the best, at least a close contender.
Like Ambassador Haley, Friedman warmed up with a contrast between then and now: “Now, the events that I just noted are not just symbolic, they represent a fundamental shift – a sea change, if you will – in the way America relates to its closest ally in the Middle East, the State of Israel.” He also tacitly drew the contrast in his tribute to Ambassador Haley and Vice President Pence toward the conclusion of his remarks: “[A]s great as they are, and they are indeed great – and I thank you with all my heart for kindness you showed them last night, as great as they are, we all take our directions from the greatest friend that Israel has ever had in the White House, President Trump. My friends, we owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.”
Ambassador Friedman lacks Ambassador Haley’s magnetism, yet his remarks are full of truths that usually remain assumed or unspoken. This too is worth your time.
Quotable quote: “[P]ermit me to share with you one of the many takeaways I’ve gleaned from my first year in office. As I said, it’s one of many revelations, but I hope that it resonates with you. It relates to a phrase that I hear occasionally from some American visitors, students and even some politicians. When I asked them to sum up their feelings for the Holy Land, they respond to me that they are, ‘pro-Israel and pro-peace.’ Pro-Israel and pro-peace sounds like a completely reasonable position. My friends, it is not. Using that phrase plainly implies that there are people who are pro-Israel and anti-peace or even God forbid, pro-Israel and pro-war. Having served in the country of Israel now for almost a year, I can attest that such people, in anything but the smallest, most minute of numbers, simply do not exist. Pro-Israel and pro-peace is nothing more than a redundancy….Everyone living in Israel wants peace, yearns for peace and prays for peace and it is dangerously misleading to use phrases that suggest otherwise. If there is no peace in the Middle East as we speak, and regrettably, there is not, I strongly suggest that we blame someone other than Israel for this predicament. “