Brittany ComakMay 17, 2018, 7:09 pmMay 18, 2018, 3:47 pm

Rabbi who gave invocation at US embassy ceremony says, ‘Israel has a right to defend itself’

On the day the new embassy was dedicated, almost 60 Palestinian protestors were killed

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WOODMERE — A Long Island rabbi says he is humbled and honored to have given the invocation at the ceremony to dedicate the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Rabbi Zalman Wolowik of Woodmere says it was “divine providence” that caused him to end up as the rabbi who gave the invocation at the ceremony which officially relocated the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"I immediately recognized, it's not just addressing the day, it's addressing history," Rabbi Zalman Wolowik said.

The Orthodox rabbi who is the director at the Chabad of the Five Towns, was the only rabbi to speak at Monday's ceremony.

His longtime friend, David Friedman, who is the U.S. ambassador to Israel, asked him to speak at the event. However, the historic occasion was also marked by protests by Palestinians who believe part of Jerusalem should be their capital. Almost 60 were killed by the Israeli army in the protests. However, Israelis believe the entire city is the holy capital for Jews.

Rabbi Wolowik says looking forward he is, of course, hoping for peace, but reinforced Israel's right to defend itself.

"Well, there's my prayer that all should go smooth and all issues should be ironed out. If people decide to take it otherwise, that's something that we have to make sure we're safe and secure," he said.

Rabbi Wolowik pointed to the Bible as Israel's “deed” to Jerusalem and said he hopes other countries can one day join with them and recognize the same.

"I want to thank the United States of America for making this bold move and reconfirming what which the Torah has documented. And it is our prayer that very soon in a matter of time there'll be a world of peace and harmony," he said.

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