US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has faced criticism for posing next to a doctored aerial image of Jerusalem showing the Third Jewish Temple where the Dome of the Rock stands today.
us ambassador to israel david friedman photographed all smiles receiving a picture of jerusalem that was photoshopped to remove the dome of the rock & the al-aqsa mosque (replaced with a jewish temple). https://t.co/pwrPq031LX pic.twitter.com/33MAPHukJo
— Tamara Nassar (@TamaraINassar) May 22, 2018
The photo was taken on Tuesday during a visit by Friedman to the Israeli city of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv organized by Achiya, an NGO that aids students with learning disabilities.
Achiya apologized for the poster, calling it a “cheap political act” by a staff member.
The Achiya organization has since apologized and claimed it did not sanction the image to be gifted to the US envoy.https://t.co/5dzswgtJ8c
— MintPress News (@MintPressNews) May 23, 2018
The US embassy in Israel, which moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last week, also said Friedman was not aware of the poster when he was photographed.
The embassy said in a statement:
“The US policy is absolutely clear: we support the status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Ambassador Friedman was not aware of the image thrust in front of him when the photo was taken. He was deeply disappointed that anyone would take advantage of his visit to Bnei Brak to create controversy.”
We are happy to host the distinguished US delegation in Israel representing President Trump: Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Jason Greenblatt, Amb. David Friedman, Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner. Welcome to Jerusalem – our capital! pic.twitter.com/uUwD6O80Vo
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 13, 2018
Friedman, a former lawyer for the Trump Organization, supports the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. He has repeatedly made statements in favor of Israel.
In a column published by Fox News on Sunday, Friedman accused US “liberal media” of siding with Hamas to undermine the “beautiful and uplifting event” of moving the embassy to Jerusalem.
Palestinians on social media slammed US envoy to Israel David Friedman for holding a photo of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock and holy Al-Aqsa Mosque removed https://t.co/w8qQ9mA38A pic.twitter.com/4xpVghqzwr
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) May 23, 2018
The move was condemned internationally and rejected by the UN General Assembly for violating the status of Jerusalem.
(AJE, PC, Social Media)