US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman met Sunday with MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) at an event held at Yeshivat Sderot’s hesder yeshiva.
Both were attending the event for personal reasons; in his youth Ambassador Friedman was a student at Rabbi Mayer Fendel’s Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC) yeshiva on Long Island, New York. Rabbi Fendel’s son, Rabbi Dov Fendel, is the founder of Yeshivat Sderot. MK Smotrich is friends with the Fendel family.
During the private lunch and public speeches, Smotrich seized the opportunity to share with the Ambassador his recently launched peace plan. The MK laid out the principles of his plan, explaining Israel’s need to be strong and whole, in order for there to be peace.
Ambassador Friedman, who had just met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prior to his arrival in Sderot, listened attentively to what Smotrich had to say.
Ambassador Friedman was no less pro-Israel than Smotrich in his own speech to the hundreds of religious American Jews participating in the event.
Both U.S. citizens visiting Israel for the holidays and new immigrants now living in the Jewish State attended the gathering and were clearly pleased with what both political figures had to say.
A State Department official traveling with the Ambassador wasn’t expecting the very warm and spontaneous applause from the large crowd when Friedman first mentioned President Donald Trump. The official told JewishPress.com he was expressing contentment with the 95+ approval rating for the United States in Israel, something he said he is not used to seeing in other countries.
At the event, the Sderot Yeshiva announced the construction of a new dormitory. On the spot, Ambassador Friedman pledged the first — and very generous — donation for the project.
The full speech, videos and more details of the Sderot event will be published later this week.