In a very shocking incident, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was photographed Tuesday receiving an aerial image of Jerusalem bearing a simulation of the Third Temple instead of the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. This was first reported in the news website Kikar Hashabat.
Though it is still not clear whether Friedman noticed the image was doctored or not but he endorsed it. A U.S. Embassy official told a media house that they have demanded an apology from the organization “for allowing one of their staff to present this controversial image to the ambassador during the visit.” A statement issued by the embassy later said that 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.”
The statement also said,”The U.S. policy is absolutely clear: we support the status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.””We wish to thank the ambassador Mr. David Friedman and the staff members for their professionalism and courtesy… regretfully the entire event was marred by a cheap political act, the responsible staff member was identified and apologizes and we will deal with the matter internally in the organization,” said the statement.
Lawmaker Ahmad Tibi (Joint List) responded to the photo by saying: “And this madman wants to bring peace. Good thing you didn’t put the embassy there!”