Achiya reacted to the embassy’s statement swiftly, saying that the man who presented the picture acted on his own behalf.
„We wish to thank the ambassador Mr. David Friedman and the staff members for their professionalism and courtesy… regretfully the entire event was marred by a cheap political act, the responsible staff member was identified and apologizes and we will deal with the matter internally in the organization,“ Achiya said in its statement.
It was unclear at the time whether Friedman noticed that the image was doctored and whether he was endorsing it or not. A U.S. Embassy official told Haaretz they have demanded an apology from the organization „for allowing one of their staff to present this controversial image to the ambassador during the visit.“
A statement issued by the embassy later said that Friedman „was not aware of the image thrust in front of him when the photo was taken. He was deeply disappointed that anyone would take advantage of his visit to Bnei Brak to create controversy.“