Current, Past US Envoys to Israel to Co-Lead March of the Living
US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides, left, and his predecessor David Friedman (Gil Shimon/US Embassy

Current, Past US Envoys to Israel to Co-Lead March of the Living

In a rare show of American bipartisan unity, the current Democratic-appointed US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides and his Republican-appointed predecessor David Friedman will jointly lead the 2023 International March of the Living from the Auschwitz Nazi death camp to the nearby Birkenau camp.

The annual 3.5 kilometer (approx. 2 miles) march of commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust will next year be held on April 18. Both ambassadors are Jewish.

“There can be no gap in the American political system when it comes to standing up against antisemitism and intolerance and defending Israel,” said Ambassador Nides of the decision. “David and I represent different sides of the political spectrum, but we are on the same side – the correct side – when it comes to standing with Israel and against prejudice and hate of any kind.”

His message of unity in the face of antisemitism was echoed by Ambassador Friedman.

“As we march arm in arm from Auschwitz to Birkenau with our colleagues, we will be demonstrating in the strongest terms that antisemitism will not be tolerated in any sector of America,” the former envoy said.

“Tom and I have very different political views, but we fully agree that antisemitism is a vile scourge which we must defeat.”

The President of the International March of the Living, Phyllis Greenberg Heideman, said that “two distinguished American diplomats leading thousands of people of good faith from around the globe on Holocaust Remembrance Day will deliver a powerful message to the world: The United States of America is forever committed to, and united in, pursuing the noble and just goals of combatting antisemitism as well as hatred in all its forms, and standing in solidarity with Israel.”

The International March of the Living was first held in 1988 and takes place on Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah). Thousands of people from more than 40 countries, including many from Jewish schools and youth movements, have taken part in the event since its inception.

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