Former US Ambassador to Israel spoke at the site where Joshua crossed into Israel and said he was “overwhelmed” to be at the last stop of exile.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Thursday that the strong values that America and Israel share have their origins in the bible and the founders of America knew that.
Friedman visited the Jordan Valley and spoke in the community of Mitzpe Yericho, near where the ancient Israelites ended their 40 years in the wilderness and finally entered the Land of Israel.
“I’m overwhelmed to be here, not only because of the amazing scenery, but also because of its significance. We are looking at the last place, the last stop of the people of Israel in exile,” Friedman said at an event hosted by the Binyamin Regional Council to honor the former ambassador.
Friedman was presented with a special book and historical items from the site of ancient Shiloh and a certificate of appreciation from the community of Mitzpe Yericho for his contribution to building the Land of Israel and strengthening Judea and Samaria, the biblical homeland of the Jewish People.
“The Jordan River, Qasr al-Yahud, from there Joshua brought the people of Israel into the land. The biblical significance of this place is amazing, to see the last stop of the exile and the first stop of the people of Israel entering the land in that very place,” Friedman told the gathering.
Friedman said that the strong bond between America and Israel had biblical roots and the connection between the two nations was because of their shared values.
“If you look at the most important document in the history of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, it says that every human being was created in the image of G-d, and hence that every human being has basic rights deriving from that,” he explained. “Our founders were not Jews, but they knew what those rights were because they read the Bible. They knew the route that the Jewish people took from exile to freedom, the promises given to the Jewish people, the exodus from Egypt, the building of the land, the stopping in Shiloh and the move to Jerusalem to build the Temple.”
“They understood that the story of the people of Israel is similar to the founding story of the United States. That is why Israel and the United States have always been such good friends for decades. Because our values are the same as yours, Jewish values and Christian values stem from a single biblical source, and are the cradle of American history,” said Friedman.
“That’s why, as an American, this country is so important to Americans, because hence the values derive like the verse ‘Because from Zion shall go forth Torah and the word of G-d will come out of Jerusalem,'” the ambassador concluded.
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“…for the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land… a land of wheat and barley, vines, figs and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey” (Deuteronomy 8:7-8)