Seven months after leaving office, former US ambassador David Friedman has established a new institute with the aim of expanding and scaling the Abraham Accords he helped broker last year among Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, Kosovo and Morocco.
Called “The Friedman Center for Peace through Strength,” the nonprofit institution said that it will work from its offices in Florida and Jerusalem to build on existing accomplishments and advance peace and prosperity throughout the Middle East.
The Friedman Center will hold its kickoff event on October 11 at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. The event – a gala dinner – will feature the world premiere of The Abraham Accords, a five-part documentary on the normalization deals, co-produced by Friedman and the TBN Network. The full documentary will air on TBN in the late fall.
“Since leaving office, I felt it important to preserve the legacy and advance the message of the Abraham Accords through the voices of those responsible for this extraordinary achievement,” Friedman said this week. “Partnering with the exceptional skills and reach of TBN, I believe that we have created a documentary film that will inspire other nations and other leaders to embrace this path to peace. I am so happy to unveil this film in Jerusalem as we launch our Center.”
The Friedman Center event is co-sponsored and co-chaired by Larry Mizel, chairman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and a founder of The Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem, and Sylvan Adams, an Israeli-Canadian businessman and philanthropist known for bringing large scale sports and cultural events to Israel.
The dinner will be attended by government officials and business leaders from the US, Israel and the Arab world. Confirmed attendees include former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin.
At the dinner, Pompeo will receive The Friedman Center’s inaugural “Peace through Strength” award. Pompeo, Mnuchin and Friedman also will be featured speakers at the 10th annual Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference, to be held at the Museum of Tolerance the following day, October 12. The Friedman Center is co-sponsoring that conference.
In discussing the decision to honor the former secretary of state, Friedman commented that “secretary Mike Pompeo navigated American diplomacy with enormous courage and skill. Around the globe, secretary Pompeo, under the direction of [US] president [Donald] Trump, projected American values and American strength in a manner that made the world safer and more peaceful. I can think of no individual more worthy of our first ‘Peace through Strength’ award, and we are honored that secretary Pompeo has agreed to accept it.”
The former ambassador said that Mnuchin was “the most impactful treasury secretary in American history. In addition to spearheading US tax reform and developing the CARES Act, which many believe averted a global depression, the Secretary led the US sanctions campaign against Iran, led the American delegation to the opening of [US] Embassy Jerusalem, and traveled extensively within the Middle East to solidify the newly-formed relationships forged by the Abraham Accords.”
Commenting on the launch of the Friedman Center, Mizel said that it was his honor to work with Friedman in building on the Abraham Accords “to bring peace, prosperity and tolerance to the Middle East.” Adams noted: “The Abraham Accords represents a sea change in Israel’s relationship with the Arab world. I am proud to partner with ambassador Friedman in his vital efforts.”