by: Joshua Spurlock
Tuesday, 15 May 2018 | History and promises kept were the themes of the day as the United States officially opened their embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was one of many who praised US President Donald Trump for keeping his promise to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city and recognize Jerusalem’s true place in Israel’s history and present.
“What a glorious day,” said Netanyahu in comments marking the embassy opening published by his office. “Remember this moment. This is history. President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history.”
And Jerusalem has a lengthy history. Netanyahu highlighted just some of the moments in the city’s past, including Abraham’s personal sacrifice, King David establishing it as Israel’s capital, and the two Temples. And Israel’s historic claim to the capital city leads to the present and future as well. Said Netanyahu, “We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay.”
Jason Greenblatt, an assistant to President Trump and Special Representative for International Negotiations, was part of the US delegation for the opening festivities and highlighted that the decision by Trump was morally right. Tweeted Greenblatt, “Promise made. Promise kept. @POTUS had the moral clarity and strength to do what was right. From this day forward, the U.S. Embassy to the State of Israel is located in its capital, Jerusalem, Israel.”
Also visiting Israel for the event included President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.
Greenblatt live tweeted Kushner’s speech at the ceremony, which said that the “United States stands with Israel because we believe, we know, that it’s the right thing to do.”
While he was not present for the big event, President Trump posted a video to the White House Twitter feed in which he said that Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital is “obvious.”
Said Trump, “Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital—yet for many years we failed to acknowledge the obvious, the plain reality, that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem.”
On Trump’s personal Twitter feed, he called it a “big day for Israel” in giving his congratulations.
A fact release from the White House marking the embassy opening again noted that the US decision does not prejudge a final resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict but that “recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a necessary condition for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Said the White House press release, “Announcing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is simply a recognition of reality.”
Truth and peace were additional themes of the day, and Netanyahu believes they go together.
“The truth and peace are interconnected. A peace that is built on lies will crash on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality,” said the Israeli leader. “You can only build peace on truth, and the truth is that Jerusalem has been and will always be the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the Jewish state.”
And the truth of Jerusalem, Netanyahu noted, has a forward-looking impact as well—one that offers hope.
“The prophet, Zechariah, declared over 2,500 years ago, ‘So said the Lord, ‘I will return to Zion and I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth,’” said Netanyahu.
“May the opening of this embassy in this city spread the truth far and wide, and may the truth advance a lasting peace between Israel and all our neighbors.”
Posted on May 15, 2018
Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on 14 May 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO
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