President Donald Trump will address approximately 800 U.S. and Israeli dignitaries at the ceremonial opening for the relocation of the American embassy to Jerusalem by video on Monday.
In an unprecedented move, President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, 2017.
Axios reported that U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman said the embassy move will be positive for the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians, saying, “The Palestinians had over the last 25 years veto power over the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It didn’t help at all to make progress in the peace process. The moving of the embassy will make it clear to the Palestinians that the world is moving forward and circumstances change and they should get on board before it overtakes them.”
According to the Times of Israel, Trump administration officials who will attend the historic ribbon-cutting ceremony include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, U.S. Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his daughter Ivanka Trump.
Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, Vice President Mike Pence will address an event hosted at the Embassy of Israel to the United States on Monday. The event will coincide with the embassy move in Jerusalem and will also commemorate the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding.
“It was an American interest to open the embassy,” a senior Trump administration official told the Times of Israel. “The Israelis were obviously desirous of this and they requested this — they’re very happy by it — but the decision was made because it seemed to be in the best interests of the United States [and] it was something the president promised during the campaign. There was no give and take with Israel in regards to this decision.”