At an event in Jerusalem to commemorate the move of the U.S. Embassy to that city, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, said that "Israel is on the side of God."
The event was held at the Friends of Zion Museum, a facility built to honor the contributions of non-Jews to Israel and to the Jewish people.
In his remarks, as reported by the New York Times, Ambassador Friedman said he wanted to stress two points. The first point was that U.S. and Israeli ties were growing "strong and stronger and stronger."
The second point, he said, "is that Israel has one secret weapon that not too many countries have -- Israel is on the side of God, and we don't underestimate that."
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer, a liberal, criticized Friedman's remark as "an extremely inappropriate comment," and described him as a "supposed ambassador."
PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said, "I do not think
it is appropriate to refer to God (the most merciful) as a weapon. Israel can not be the only country of the 194 countries on earth that stands on the side of God."
Ambassador Friedman is an Orthodox Jew. He is married and he and his wife, Tammy Deborah Sand, have five children. Friedman first met Donald Trump in the 1990s. Friedman was an adviser to the Trump 2016 campaign. He was confirmed by the Senate as ambassador to Israel in March 2017.