U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman ...this week... At the annual Fourth of July celebration... stressed America's "unbreakable bond" with the Jewish state.
The bond Friedman was referring to had become so fragile during former U.S. President Barack Obama's two terms in office that it became the punchline of a joke ...by comedian Jay Leno. Obama, Leno quipped, knows just how unbreakable the U.S.-Israel bond is, "since he's been trying to break it for years."
...And then [Friedman] quoted, in Hebrew, a line from Psalm 118 -- "This is a day that the Lord has made; let us [be glad and] rejoice in it" -- to make a point about Israel's being "the source of many of the Judeo-Christian values that spawned the American enterprise." He invoked the famous Puritan Pilgrim John Winthrop, who in 1630 "implored his followers to be faithful to the teachings of the Jewish prophet, Micah, to 'do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with thy God,'" [This line happens to be the last line of this week's Haphtorah: Balak - SL] and told new immigrants to America that if they did so, they would "find that the God of Israel is among us."
He said that when Winthrop "referred to New England as a 'city upon a hill with the eyes of all people upon us," he was also referring to Jerusalem. Indeed, Friedman added,
"So much of who we are derives from the teachings of ancient Israel. And, perhaps for that reason, it is no surprise that the United States and Israel have the most special of special relationships."Here, again, Friedman purposely spoke of Jerusalem, emphasizing that the success and mutual admiration that America and the Jewish state enjoy emanate from "ancient Israel."
"We have, of course, common enemies that unite us," he said -- as well as military, trade, culture and cybersecurity cooperation. "But our collective core, what fundamentally unites us, is that we are the two shining cities on a hill, drawn together by a shared history, shared values and ... a shared destiny of continued greatness."
This declaration was nothing short of momentous, particularly as it came on the heels of senior Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner's June 21 meeting in Ramallah with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, whose henchmen described the encounter as "tense." Apparently, being told by a prominent member of the White House staff that the paying of terrorists' salaries has got to stop is not what Abbas had expected to hear -- despite being yelled at by Trump himself in May for having lied about the rampant incitement in the PA against Jews and Israelis.
Friedman's next allusion to Jerusalem involved noting that he is the "first [U.S.] ambassador to accompany [Trump] in visiting the kotel hamaaravi, the Western Wall." From here, he segued into his conclusion by talking about how, earlier in the day, he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had toured the aircraft carrier the USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of Haifa.
Peace through strength, he announced (quoting King David's words in Psalm 29, which he said his father used to recite every Shabbat morning) is "a foundational cornerstone of the Trump administration" and a "guiding principle of the State of Israel."
Finally, Friedman said that American men and women in uniform, like their Israeli counterparts in the IDF, "hope never to fire a shot," preferring to keep the world safe through a demonstration of strength and courage. However -- he implied -- they willingly sacrifice their lives in this mission if left no other choice.
While the new U.S. ambassador to Israel wound down his remarks by wishing the United State a happy 241st birthday, the audience revved up its cheering for the start of what Americans call "a whole new ballgame."