Nides and Herzog
Nides and Herzog Kobi Gideon/GPO

On Sunday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog received the credentials of the new American Ambassador to Israel, Thomas R. Nides, at an official ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

President Herzog and Ambassador Nides delivered statements to the press and then held a working meeting. The President surprised Ambassador Nides by inviting to the ceremony the principal from his old Hebrew school in Duluth, Minnesota, Elizabeth Aloni.

"The People of Israel welcome you with open arms and an open heart," said Herzog. "For us, this is a celebration of a shared vision and common values: liberty and equality, freedom, human rights and friendship with our closest ally."

"Personally, my family has been engaged and involved with over fourteen successive American presidents. Growing up in the United States, I was strongly influenced by the spirit of the Constitution, by its social diversity and by the great tradition of your democracy."

"This is why it is a special pleasure for me to host you, Mr. Ambassador, here in the President’s Residence, to receive your credentials and light the eighth and final Chanukah candle with you."

"I take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to President Biden, for his tireless support and his uncompromising commitment to the ironclad relations between Israel and the United States. An alliance which should always be above partisan politics, enjoying the support of all administrations."

"Israel very much looks forward to working together in harmony and in full partnership. You are coming to a more hopeful region. The Abraham Accords are a real strategic and regional gamechanger. It is essential that we realize the potential of these historic accords alongside the United States of America."

"Without a doubt the greatest challenge Israel and the Unites States face is the common threat posed by Iran. We are closely following the international community’s recent negotiations with Iran. Israel will welcome a comprehensive, diplomatic solution which permanently solves the Iranian nuclear threat."

"In the case of a failure to achieve such solution, Israel is keeping all options on the table and it must be said that if the international community does not take a vigorous stance on this issue—Israel will do so. Israel will protect itself."

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