Dr Mike Evans

Former US envoy to Israel wants to bring thousands of Muslim tourists to Jerusalem

Former ambassador David Friedman spoke at the opening gala of The Freidman Center for Peace through Strength on Monday at the new Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, promising to bring thousands of new tourists to the city, including many Muslims.

“The road to peace goes through Jerusalem,” Friedman said. “The key to the Abraham Accords was the trust between a small group of people. The Friedman Center is committed to expanding that trust beyond a small group of people.

“With trust there are no limits. And with trust, we can and will change the world,” he said. “With strength, the strength to stand with our allies and our principles. These are the ingredients for achieving peace.”

Regarding tourism from the Muslim world, Freidman shared ambitious plans for the future, building on the historic work of the Abraham Accords he helped forge in 2020. “We will work to bring Muslims to Jerusalem to see for themselves … the extraordinary lengths Israel goes to safeguard holy sites. There are about two billion Muslims in the world and only a tiny, tiny fraction have visited Jerusalem,” he said, adding that Muslim tourism can change the equation in bringing peace between Israel and the Islamic world.

“We are on the cusp of ending the Arab-Israeli conflict for the next 100 years. Israel can and should be the solution, not the problem,” he said.

Friedman presented an inaugural award to former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, declaring that “No secretary of state has projected America’s values to the world than Mike Pompeo.”

“Peace is difficult to maintain if one is unwilling to acknowledge the truth,” Pompeo said in his acceptance speech. “One needs to be unambiguous about who the good guys are – we know the problems that the Islamic republic of Iran was driving in the region.”

Many dignitaries attended the inaugural event, including former US secretary of the treasury Steven Mnuchin and the President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino.