Israeli President Celebrates Hanukkah at David Friedman’s Favorite Settlement by the Forward

Israeli President Celebrates Hanukkah at David Friedman’s Favorite Settlement

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin marked the third night of Hanukkah by lighting a menorah in Beit El, the West Bank settlement that is supported by Donald Trump’s Israel envoy pick David Friedman.

Friedman, Trump’s lawyer, is the president of American Friends of Beit El Institutions, which raises about $2 million a year from U.S. donors to benefit the settlement near Ramallah, according to Haaretz.

The Trump Foundation gave $10,000 to the foundation in 2003, reported the Jerusalem Post. And the family foundation of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, has given money to the organization.

Rivlin’s Hanukkah appearance at Beit El was to inaugurate a new study hall at the yeshiva there. In photographs of the event, he is joined by Zalman Baruch Melamed, the head of the yeshiva who has stated that certain Arab citizens of Israel should be stripped of their rights.

Rivlin doesn’t share that view, often saying that Arabs and Jews are “destined to live together.” The president advocates a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the Palestinian territory under Israel’s control.

Rivlin took a nationalistic tone at the Hanukkah event, calling the settlers the “pioneers” and referring to the West Bank, where Palestinians hope to build a future state, as “our land.”

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at


Naomi Zeveloff

Naomi Zeveloff

Naomi Zeveloff is the former Middle East correspondent of the Forward, primarily covering Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Celebrates Hanukkah at Settlement Supported by Trump Israel Envoy Pick

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Israeli President Celebrates Hanukkah at David Friedman’s Favorite Settlement

Thank you!

This article has been sent!