President Donald Trump delivered a video address at the ceremony opening the official United States embassy in Jerusalem, recognizing the historic impact of his decision.As Miriam Adelson notes here, it's a great day for Israel:
“The plain reality that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem,” Trump said, calling the decision about the location of the embassy “a long time coming.”
Trump announced his decision to relocate the U.S. embassy in December 2017, fulfilling a campaign promise.
“Today we follow through on this recognition and open our embassy in the historic and sacred land of Jerusalem and we’re opening it many, many years ahead of schedule,” he said.
When the U.S. inaugurates its new embassy in Jerusalem today, we Israelis will rejoice – loudly, proudly, and justly.America should definitely be thrilled, and you can be sure plenty are...but there's still Democrats who not only aren't, their representatives didn't even show up:
It will be a national milestone, a turning point. It will be a cause for celebration on a par with Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948 and its victory over three enemy armies, and the expeditionary forces assisting them, in the Six-Day War of 1967.
We will be like the dreamers of Psalms, our mouths filled with laughter and our tongues with joy, at this honor for Israel’s ancient, beloved, undivided and eternal capital: Jerusalem, the focus of our thrice-daily prayers for 3,000 years.
Americans should be just as thrilled. I can say this with full confidence because I am not only a native-born Israeli; I am also a naturalized U.S. citizen who cares deeply about American interests.
The embassy opening is a crowning moment for U.S. foreign policy and for our president, Donald Trump. Just over a year into his first term, he has re-enshrined the United States as the standard-bearer of moral clarity and courage in a world that too often feels adrift.
Exactly 70 years ago, as the horrors of World War II were still fresh, another great president, Harry Truman, asserted U.S. leadership by recognizing the fledgling State of Israel. Trump is the Truman of our time. He knew that Americans, first and foremost, would benefit from his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as would peace-loving people everywhere.
And he took action on Jerusalem, just as he did in nobly quitting the vile Iranian nuclear deal last week, and just as he is doing right now, with tough diplomacy on North Korea.
Four U.S. Senators addressed members of the press at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on Monday morning, hours before the official relocation of the U.S. embassy — and all four were Republicans.Indeed, as the great occasion was taking place, the Hamas incited a mob at the Gaza crossing to riot, and there were even anti-Israeli demonstrators cavorting around outside the complex of the embassy. Such refusal to put politics aside is not helpful.
Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Dean Heller (R-NV), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Mike Lee (R-UT) made the trip, along with ten Republican U.S. Representatives — but not one Democrat joined the U.S. delegation for the embassy event.
Only former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) — who was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000 before being rejected by his party in 2006 for his support of the Iraq War — came to Jerusalem to join in the festivities.
Two journalists asked the Republican Senators why no Democrats had come.
Sen. Cruz said: “That is a sad, sad manifestation — I wish we had every member of Congress here … every member of Congress had the option before them to come.”
Sen. Graham said that no one, Republican or Democrat, had been specifically invited to the ceremony — they simply chose to come or they did not. And he noted that only Republicans had come of their own volition.
“It’s not for me to tell you what that says,” Graham said. “It hurts me.”
He noted that the absence of Democrats sent a dangerous message that Americans were not united in their support for Israel.
“There’s too much going on in this region to send mixed signals,” he said.
A GOP representative predicts that countries outside western Europe will move their own embassies to Jerusalem as well:
“Guatemala is going to open up an embassy in Jerusalem in two days,” he said. “Paraguay is on the way. I think you’re going to see a lot of countries out of Western Europe start to follow the United States’ lead. I bet you some of those countries who are our traditional allies will probably be the laggards in this. But hey Brian, that’s fine. I mean, do the right thing and some of these smaller countries who have done that — I think they’ve shown a lot of courage in doing so.”Eventually, I think even the western European countries will show the guts to make the move too. For now, it's great that the USA sent an important message and moved the embassy to Jerusalem, putting an end to what should be a non-issue and recognizing the vitality of history. That's something to celebrate.