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New US ambassador lands in Israel to assume post vacant for more than 10 months

Nides arrives at a critical time in U.S.-Israeli relations with America, Iran restarting talks on nuclear deal and Palestinians calling for reopening of Jerusalem consulate

New US ambassador to Israel Tom Nides (R) arrives in Israel and is welcomed by Gil Haskel, Foreign Ministry Chief of Protocol (Photo: David Azagury/US Embassy Jerusalem)

Nearly 11 months after the new American administration was sworn in, the U.S. ambassador to Israel landed at Ben-Gurion Airport to assume his post.

Thomas Nides landed in Israel on Monday morning, took a COVID test and then headed straight to his home where he would quarantine for three days as per the latest regulations in the land.

After settling in, Nides shared the moment on Twitter.

“After my first trip to Israel, I wrote in my local newspaper that ‘the moment I put my feet on the ground, I had a feeling which I will never forget.’ Landing today in Israel to be U.S. Ambassador is another moment I’ll never forget,” he wrote.

Nides first came to Israel as a 15-year-old. He posted a video on social media as well about his new position.

“The bonds between our two countries, as President [Joe] Biden has said, are unbreakable,” Nides continued. “There is no greater privilege than what I have been asked to do, to represent the United States of America to the State of Israel.”

The U.S. Senate confirmed Nides as the country’s ambassador to Israel earlier this month after having been nominated in June. Israelis welcome the nomination.

Nides arrives at a critical time in U.S.-Israeli relations. Just yesterday talks between the U.S. and Iran resumed on the nuclear agreement – a pact that Washington wants to rejoin while Jerusalem has supported U.S. sanctions on Tehran instead.

The Biden administration also wants to reopen the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem to serve as an embassy to the Palestinians. It had been closed by former President Donald Trump when he moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The Israeli government opposes reopening the unit.

Nides, who was born in Duluth, Minn., replaces David Friedman who served from 2017-2021.

When Nides was appointed this summer, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Danny Ayalon told ALL ISRAEL NEWS that the candidate is a “sharp, quick-thinking and high caliber” choice for the job.

“The role of the U.S. ambassador to Israel is critical for the relationship because he’s the ears and eyes for Washington. Also, his professional opinion carries a lot of weight in Washington,” Ayalon told ALL ISRAEL NEWS at the time.

The White House described Nides as “a distinguished public servant and business leader.”

Nides was most recently the managing director and vice-chairman of Morgan Stanley. During his career in the State Department, he served as deputy secretary of state for Management and Resources under then- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

During President Barack Obama’s administration, Nides helped get the administration’s approval to extend loan guarantees worth billions of dollars for Israel, according to the Jewish News Syndicate.

Arnold Nides, his late father, owned a finance company and was president of the Duluth Temple Israel and the Duluth Jewish Federation.

Nicole Jansezian was the news editor and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS.

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