Dr Mike Evans

US Senate confirms Thomas Nides as ambassador to Israel

The US Senate’s confirmation of Thomas Nides as the next US ambassador to Israel last week affirmed the selection of an envoy who continues to support funding for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system and the Abraham Accords.

During the Senate committee’s hearing, Nides also affirmed his opposition to the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanction) movement. Nides further noted he supports America’s “unwavering” commitment to Israel’s security.

Another key issue of discussion during Nides’s hearing focused on Iran. He expressed his support of American policy that Iran “never develops a nuclear weapon.” The statement came as media reported this week that the US plans to meet with leaders from Iran on Nov. 29 regarding the previous Iranian deal.

Nides’s biography includes his birth to a Jewish family in Duluth, Minnesota, where his father served as president of a Reform congregation and his mother taught Hebrew. He graduated from the University of Minnesota and worked on Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign.

In addition to years of working in finance, Nides served on former senator Joe Lieberman’s campaign and served as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources from 2011 to 2013 under president Barack Obama.

Nides replaces David Friedman, who served under the Trump administration. Friedman served as a strong supporter of Trump’s efforts in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and supporting the launch of the Abraham Accords.

Friedman now serves as founder of The Friedman Center for Peace through Strength in Israel. His center says, “It is critically important to educate the public with regard to the importance of the United States maintaining the diplomatic approach that succeeded during the past administration.

The Friedman Center will pay particular focus on Jerusalem, with a view toward enabling that ancient and holy city to actualize the meaning of its name: “City of Peace.” The Prophet Isaiah, considered by all three major monotheistic faiths to be divinely inspired, envisioned all the nations of the world coming to Jerusalem, whereupon their issues would be resolved and “nation shall not lift up sword against nation nor study war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:3-4).

Mike Evans is in Israel meeting with the nation’s leaders. He arrived in Israel last week on a whirlwind trip, working on several initiatives to assist the State of Israel in mobilizing evangelical support worldwide, and also countering antisemitism through his Friends of Zion Heritage Center in Jerusalem.

Evans is also meeting with the top intelligence and military leaders to ascertain the seriousness of the Iranian threat to the state of Israel. 

The Friends of Zion Heritage Center will be hosting the 2021 “Beauty Queen Competition for Holocaust Survivors” on Tuesday, November 16 at the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem. This year’s competition will be attended by Holocaust survivors, artists and ambassadors, all while being broadcast online in Israel and to tens of millions of viewers around the world.