David Friedman
David FriedmanHillel Meir/TPS

Israel’s Ariel University in Samaria – the sole full-fledged Israeli university in Judea or Samaria – opened its new medical department Sunday, at a special ceremony in Ariel which drew representatives from the Israeli and American governments.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman attended the opening ceremony Sunday, alongside American-Jewish billionaire and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam; Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman; MK Naftali Bennett (New Right); and the chairman of the Republican party’s overseas branch in Israel, Marc Zell.

Seventy students were accepted into the first class of the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson School of Medicine at Ariel University, the sixth medical school in Israel.

The ceremony was opened by the medical school’s dean, Professor Shai Ashkenazi.

“We are setting out today on a fascinating journey,” said Professor Ashkenazi. “We are excited and happy to begin the studies, and are aware of the great responsibility we bear.”

Sheldon Adelson, David Friedman, and Naftali Bennett
Sheldon Adelson, David Friedman, and Naftali Bennettצילום: הלל מאיר/TPS

Ambassador Friedman also spoke at the event, blessing the opening of the new school with the traditional Hebrew ‘Shecheyanu’ blessing.

“A new medical school has been opened in Samaria. That’s worth repeating. A new medical school has been opened in Samaria. How many people ever thought they’d hear those words,” said Friedman.

“The US embassy enjoys warm ties with Ariel University,” continued Friedman. “We get inspiration from its contributions to Israeli society and the world of science.”

After the ceremony, Friedman tweeted that the new medical school would benefit “all in the region”, including both Jews and Arabs.

“Honored to speak today at the opening ceremony of Ariel University Medical School. Congrats to the faculty, staff & students of this leading institution; looking forward to exciting advancements in the health sciences for the benefit of all in the region, Jew, Muslim or Christian.”