U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took part in a festive event Tuesday evening marking the one-year anniversary of the opening of the US embassy in Israel’s capital of Jerusalem. The event was held at the David Citadel Hotel.
Ambassador Friedman said at the event: “365 days ago, about 3 hours ago, we opened up our embassy in Jerusalem.”
“In less than six months [after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel] we opened up a beautiful embassy in a beautiful ceremony and all the predictions – even some of our own predictions – about what could happen, about the risks, the violence, the gloom, the doom, the reality is that in the entire city of Jerusalem that day, I don’t think more than 20 people got up to protest,” the ambassador added.
“The embassy opened, the sun rose the next morning, and off we were under this new beautiful paradigm of an American embassy in Jerusalem.”
The embassy was opened on May 14, 2018. The move fulfilled a promise by US President Donald Trump to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued an official statement that the United States would no longer sign the order suspending the transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem.
“On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem officially opened for business. Now, as we near the first anniversary of that momentous event, I am pleased to report that I have provided my determination to Congress that the relevant elements of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 have been addressed. Accordingly, no further Presidential waiver of the funding restriction under the Act is necessary.”
A senior US embassy official explained to Arutz Sheva why Trump has so far been forced to sign the order every six months: “The administration is proud to have opened the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14. But the required definition includes the transfer of the offices of the diplomatic mission and relocation of the residence of the head of the diplomatic team – the ambassador.”