U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will nominate attorney David Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel, the transition team said in a statement on Thursday, according to Reuters.
Friedman served as Trump’s advisor on Israel affairs during the election campaign.
"(Friedman) has been a long-time friend and trusted advisor to me. His strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country as we strengthen the ties with our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East," Trump said in the statement.
Friedman thanked Trump for the nomination in a statement of his own, and stressed that he was looking forward to serve his role in the city of Jerusalem, as Trump has promised to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital.
"I am deeply honored and humbled by the confidence placed in me by President-elect Trump to represent the United States as its Ambassador to Israel," Friedman said.
"I intend to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the U.S. embassy in Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem," he added.
Friedman, who had also been a longtime Arutz Sheva op-ed contributor, spoke out in favor of Israel numerous times during the campaign and highlighted Trump’s pro-Israel stance.
In May, Friedman toldArutz Sheva in an exclusive interview that Trump believes “that Israel should continue to build Judea and Samaria communities. This is land that Israel has held for almost 50 years. The population of Judea and Samaria is 400,000 people. You add in East Jerusalem you have almost a million people. These people aren’t going anywhere and Israel’s not going to make the same mistake that it made in connection with the evacuation of Gaza.”
In another interview with Haaretz, Friedman said that as president, Trump could support Israel annexing parts of Judea and Samaria.
He also told Channel 10 News in an interview during the campaign that, as president, Trump would not force a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority on Israel, due to the fact that he “has great confidence in the Israeli government and the Israeli people.”
Baruch Gordon, Director of Development for Bet El Institutions and IsraelNationalNews.com, welcomed the news of Friedman's nomination: "Bet El Institutions expresses its warmest blessings to David Friedman in his new position as U.S. Ambassador to Israel."
"In his position as President of Bet El Institutions, Mr. Friedman has been a pioneer philanthropist and builder of Jewish institutions and housing projects in Judea and Samaria (AKA the 'West Bank') and throughout the country.
"His vital and valorous role in the rebuilding of Israel has earned him the trust and respect of the Israeli People, a key factor which will enable him to best fulfill his duties in representing U.S. interests in Israel.
"Bet El Institutions is proud to be closely associated with Mr. Friedman, and wishes him much success in strengthening the historic ties between the United States and the state of Israel."