US Amb. Friedman Apologizes After Posing With Photo of Bais Hamikdash In Place of Al-Aqsa Mosque [PHOTOS]


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A photo went viral on Tuesday of the United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman standing next to an activist while holding a poster-sized photo of an imagined Jerusalem, complete with the Har Habayis depicting the Bais Hamikdash instead of Al-Aqsa mosque (the Dome of the Rock).

The photo caused a massive backlash against Friedman and the organization who staged the photo, Achiya. Friedman was touring the Bnei Brak headquarters of Achiya, which works to ensure the rights of children with learning disabilities in the Charedi sector.

Left-wing politicians blasted the embassy and the Ambassador for being in the photo and created such a vociferous public outcry that the Embassy contacted the organization and demanded that they issue a public apology for the stunt.

A Spokesperson for the Embassy said Ambassador Friedman was unaware of the image ‘thrust in front of him.’

The embassy issued the following statement: “We contacted the Achiya organization and demanded an apology for allowing one of their staff to pose with the Ambassador with a photo that displays ideals that are hotly debated. The position of the United States with regards to this issue are quite clear in that we support the current status quo with regards to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif.”

The organization issued an apology and said: “One of our staff presented the Ambassador with a photo without the knowledge of our organization, the Ambassador nor the Embassy. We would like to thank the Ambassador, Mr. David Friedman and his staff for the professionalism and the magnanimity that they showed to us during the visit. Sadly, the entire visit was ruined by a cheap political stunt. The staff person responsible has been identified and has apologized for his actions. We will be dealing with discipline internally with regards to the matter.”

Responses on-line came very much divided over the issue with right-wing voices showing support for Ambassador Friedman, while left-wing voices sharply criticized the whole incident.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. So as a counter gesture, the world should be expecting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to also apologize for posing in his hospital room with a newspaper showing an antisemitic cartoon of an Israeli soldier poisoning an Arab child. (He admitted he did it with a large cartoon on purpose)

  2. The apology is shameful, as as the absurd the demand for apology from the embassy (not Friedman, obviously). The rebuilding of our holy Temple is the foundation of our religion, for which we pray three times a day, as well as in grace after a meal or even after eating a single buiscuit.

  3. By the way, in the photo, the al-Shiksa mosque is still standing. You must be referring to the Dome of the Rock, which is not a mosque.

  4. Al Aqsa is NOT the Dome of the Rock, though they’re both on the Har HaBayis. The Dome of the Rock is located at the top of the mountain, likely in the place where the Mikdash stood. Al Aqsa is located at the southern end of the mountain, on the part of the Har HaBayis that was added by Herod. The entire complex is called the “Haram al-Sharif”, or Noble Sanctuary, by Muslims, but for them, the most important part is al Aqsa.

    an Israeli Yid

  5. Like he really couldn’t tell a photo with an artists’ rendition of some “beis hamikdash” photo shopped over the Al Aqsa Mosque??? This was not a little photo on someone’s cellphone…it was a 3ft. x 4ft. blown up photo. He is either patronizing his right wing zealot friends or losing it.

  6. Gadolhadorah, according to your twisted “left wing zealot” logic all frum Yiden are right wing zealots. We all ask Hashem 3 times each day that the image in that picture will become a reality in our lifetime.

  7. MoisheInGolus, you are missing Gadolhadorah’s point, which is that Mr. Friedman knew exactly what was displayed on that picture. I happen to Agree with Gadolhadorah, but simply think that Mr. Friedman (whom I hold in very high regard) has seen such images so many times, that he simply thinks of it as a religious and not political image. However, that doesn’t detract from the fact that his accepting the picture can very easily be construed as a message from the US Government endorsing the construction of a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount.

  8. Yankelle, why don’t you advice Mr Friedman to cut the following from his daily amidah:
    “May it be Your will, L-rd our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers, that the Bet Hamikdash be speedily rebuilt in our days, and grant us our portion in Your Torah.”
    After all the above ” can very easily be construed as a message from the US Government endorsing the construction of a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount”.

  9. Moishekepoyah…..The Hon. Reb Duvid can behave like a closet Moishichist as a private citizen, but even the Trumpkopfs haven’t adopted a policy of starting a holy war by demolishing El Aqsa and building a bayis shlishi on Har Habayis. If he wants to live out his fantasy, he should ask his buddies at Chabad for a yellow flag and he can march up and down Eastern Parkway when he comes home for vacation.

  10. Again, virtually every yid agrees (or should agree) with the underlying geopolitical decision to move the Embassy to Yerushalayim. There was no “good” time to make the move but it could have been done without some of the optics that mindlessly seem designed to further inflame the Palestinian/Arab passions that were inevitable. Instead, like so many of the other Trump foreign policy decisions, the details were more designed as red meat for political consumption by a narrow segment of the Trump/Bibi political supporters. If there is violence, the first victims will be the young men/women of the IDF and security forces on the front lines and not the politicians in Washington and EY who live with 24 hr bodyguards and behind security walls.

  11. votekosher….if you are enjoying the scraps of red meat the Trumpkopfs throw in your direction, please check the hashgacha….most of it is chazerfleish gamum with a “pro-Israel” plumba wrapped in evangelical X’tian rhetoric.