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May 14: U.S. Embassy Moves to Jerusalem

May 14: U.S. Embassy Moves to Jerusalem

Trump makes history by keeping a promise to Israel, Jews, and the American people.

Today (May 14) the U.S. embassy will officially move from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city.

The move, widely regarded as historic and “momentous” for Israel and the Jewish people, will coincide with the anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence 70 years ago on the Gregorian calendar. It also comes one day after Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim), which marks the reunification of the city during the 1967 Six Day War, and the return of Jewish heritage and holy sites to Jewish sovereignty.
In moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, President Trump isn’t just fulfilling another campaign promise. The reality is that he’s correcting a historic wrong done to an ally—and is also honoring the will of the American people.

A Festive Occasion in Israel’s Capital City

Preparations for the ceremony marking the official opening of the embassy in Jerusalem have been underway for months.

While there was some speculation that Trump might attend the event today, he’ll be speaking via live video-conference instead.

Roughly 800 guests will attend today’s ceremony, representing 33 countries. The U.S. delegation includes John Sullivan, deputy secretary of state, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his daughter Ivanka Trump (four U.S. Senators will attend the embassy opening along with 10 congressmen—all Republicans).

Of the 28 European Union countries, only 4 sent representatives to Sunday night’s reception (Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania).

The entire city has been decked out for the occasion. Here are just a couple of images that have been posted to social media and YouTube in recent days. There are many more online:

[credit: YouTube]

The Embassy Move: Good for the Jews, and for Peace

Over the weekend, a small number of Israelis (reportedly about 100) convened in downtown Jerusalem to protest the embassy move:

In the U.S., the fringe group If Not Now (INN) is organizing for this morning an ‘action of civil disobedience’ in Washington, D.C., where they’re planning to express “moral outrage” at the embassy move.

We’ve recently written about INN, highlighting how non-representative it is of left-wing Zionist positions, Group plans to infiltrate Jewish summer campus to turn campers against Israel.

INN’s criticism goes well beyond the charge that Trump’s decision on the embassy was badly timed or that it was rolled-out ineffectively. Critics who made that claim, by and large, acknowledged the ‘rightness’ of the move, whereas INN activists claim it is morally unacceptable.

But the fact is that most Israelis and Jews worldwide have supported Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city, and to move the embassy there. That’s true even of anti-Netanyahu opposition politicians, who have joined with the Prime Minister to wholeheartedly embrace it.

As Austria’s ambassador to Israel Martin Weiss remarked yesterday:

This is a day of celebration for Israelis across the political spectrum. If you ask any Israeli on the street, whether he’s left-wing or right-wing, what the capital of Israel is, they’ll look at you weird. It’s obvious.”

Basically, as we’ve highlighted in a number of prior posts, the relocation of the embassy should be seen as an important and much-needed symbolic corrective to the Palestinian position that Jews have no authentic historical or spiritual connection to the city—which is why most Jewish people who care about Israel and their Jewish faith and heritage love that Trump has done this:

The embassy move counterbalances the ugly global campaign to deny Jewish attachment to Jerusalem’s holy sites, including the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit)—Judaism’s holiest site. As we’ve noted, this campaign has long been spearheaded by the Palestinian Authority and its allies at the United Nations, UNESCO attempts to erase Jewish connection to Temple Mount.

Trump’s decision to move the embassy also doesn’t in any way prevent peace. In fact, it can jumpstart peace by establishing an important red line for future negotiations and by incentivizing the Palestinians to soften their own uncompromising negotiating positions on the city, Prof. Miriam Elman in WaPo: Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, for peace sake.

You can read here Obama’s ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro’s assessment of why the embassy move is an “overdue step” that recognizes the reality of Israel’s capital and isn’t at all counter-productive to peace (see also Gilad Erdan’s recent assessment in Newsweek):

Complying with the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act

It’s important to understand that Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem is an instance of the executive branch being responsive to Congress.

A brief historical overview explains why this is so:

In 1949, Israel declared the western section of Jerusalem as its capital and moved the Knesset, the presidency, the courts and other government agencies there. Most of the international community, including the U.S., denied recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (although some countries, primarily from South America, did locate their embassies there for a time).

In October 1995 the U.S. Congress sought to rectify this absurd situation with the passage by overwhelming majorities (Senate 93-5, House 374-37) of the Jerusalem Embassy Act. It recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and instructed the president to move the embassy there by May 1999. At regular intervals ever since (most recently on June 5, 2017, by unanimous vote in the Senate), Congress has reaffirmed this law and has demanded that the executive branch implement it.

But, as we noted in prior posts, the law allowed for the president to waive the requirement every six months on account of national security considerations. So Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama all did just that—invoking the waiver and failing to abide by the law (as we showed, they each assumed that the embassy move would compromise Israeli-Palestinian negotiations or cause anti-U.S. protests to break out across the Middle East).

President Trump repeatedly vowed to move the embassy, just like his predecessors did. The only difference is that Trump “had the courage” to make good on his promise.

Bottom line: Every sovereign state has the right to determine where to locate its capital city and the U.S. has always placed its embassies in those locations—except when it came to Israel. Basically, in moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the U.S. is “fixing a historical diplomatic anomaly.”

Anticipated Palestinian Violence to the U.S. Embassy Move

According to breaking news coverage yesterday, the IDF is gearing up for mass Gaza rioting and is warning that Hamas is planning to “massacre Israelis.”

These protests, which are expected to be much more aggressive than the demonstrations over the past few weeks at the Gaza border, are clearly being set as a response to the embassy move. That’s because they’re being called to coincide with the official ceremony today, and not for “Nakba Day” the following day on May 15, during which Palestinians and their supporters annually commemorate their perceived displacement and mourn the ‘catastrophe of Israel’s creation’.

Over 100,000 Palestinians are expected to take part in the “March of Return” protests today. Dozens or even hundreds may try to breach the border fence and attack nearby Israeli communities.

At the time of this writing, at least one of the communities only 0.6 miles from the border (Kibbutz Nahal Oz) is reportedly considering evacuating residents ahead of the rioting as a safety precaution.

We’ve been covering the past six weeks of the Palestinian “March of Return” protests in numerous posts, highlighting the fact that they aren’t ‘peaceful’ but are being used by the Hamas terror organization to conduct militant operations under civilian cover as a way to deflect a frustrated and angry public from its own abysmal failures.

Anticipated violent responses to the embassy move have been the key reasons that Trump’s predecessors have reneged on their own campaign promises to relocate it. For a while we thought that Trump too might cave into these threats, and fail to live up to his own campaign pledges, Has Trump gone soft on Jerusalem embassy move after threats of violence?. But as we speculated, if any President would be the one to stand up to these threats it would be Trump.

Bottom line: In the Arab world, the much-anticipated anti-U.S. violence to Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy never did materialize (as we rightly predicted). But tomorrow’s violence, if it happens, will be instigated and incited by Hamas, which will be responsible for the consequences. Trump made the right move not to hold U.S. foreign policy, the will of the American people, or the rights of an ally hostage to these terrorists.


You don’t have to agree with everything President Trump says or does to support and to be “deeply grateful” about his decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

You can watch the official ceremony live today at 4:00 pm Jerusalem time.

Miriam F. Elman is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Inaugural Robert D. McClure Professor of Teaching Excellence at the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University. She is the editor of five books and the author of over 65 journal articles, book chapters, and government reports on topics related to international and national security, religion and politics, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She also frequently speaks and writes on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) anti-Israel movement. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @MiriamElman


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Now that the embassy question is settled and with it the true capitol of Israel, maybe the “palestinians” can get on with the pursuit of peace?

    Eric R. in reply to Whitewall. | May 14, 2018 at 10:00 am

    The only thing those filthy, degenerate Islamonazi savages pursue is a second Shoah. And they won’t stop seeking that even if 500,000 of those filthy Nazi scum were vaporized by a nuke over Gaza.

      Milhouse in reply to Eric R.. | May 14, 2018 at 10:10 am

      Not a second one; the continuation of the first one after an unplanned but ultimately trivial interruption. Never forget that their grandfathers were Germany’s allies and accomplices, and they see themselves as the heirs to that mission.

        Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | May 14, 2018 at 10:53 am

        I think Kerry and Obama are more upset about Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem than they are about the Iran deal.

        If Obama would have had any smarts at all (HA!) he would have recognized Jerusalem and moved the embassy there at the same time as he made the Iran Deal. Then he could have said that the US was being impartial, doing things for both sides, blah blah whatever. They would have been seen as linked.

        but nooooo, he not only had to favor the Iranians, he had to let his Jooo Hatred block him from even thinking about making the obvious play. And now he wonders why it all went wrong for him.

    Milhouse in reply to Whitewall. | May 14, 2018 at 10:06 am


There is no peace process. The peace process is a lie when the Palestinian side of the equation has no interest in either negotiation or peace.

    healthguyfsu in reply to rdm. | May 14, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Yes, something that is transparently obvious on all of the losing fronts of the Muslim extremists in the Middle East. Same with Iran.

    When you come to a negotiating table with a list of demands that resemble those of conquerors then you don’t want peace.

I like bottom lines.

“But as we speculated, if any President would be the one to stand up to these threats it would be Trump.”

There was an Op/Ed in the WSJ many weeks ago that made an important point about style vs substance. To paraphrase: “I agreed with the way Obama said many things, but I disagreed with just about everything he did. Conversely, I disagee with the way Trump says many thing, but I agree with just about everything he has done.”

Bravo. The US embassy is finally in the capital of Israel. This is ‘good’ Trump. He may live life as a NY liberal democrat, yet Trump governs like a reasonably conservative executive who keeps promises, albeit haphazardly.

Psalm 122:6

Guy Gadbouis | May 14, 2018 at 9:41 am

If the Palestinians wanted peace, there would be peace.
If the Israelis wanted war, there would be no Palestinians.
We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children.
We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.
We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.

Listened to the NPR (National Pretentious Radio, as my sister calls it) report on the embassy move.

Among the many many fake news mistakes was their claim that this goes against 20 years of national policy. Since it’s actually been official policy to move the embassy for that time period – only repeatedly and temporarily putting it off in hopes of moderating Palestinian extremism – I had to choke.

The next whopper was the claim that “Jerusalem is just as much a Holy City to the Muslims as it is to the Jews and the Christians”. Weird, then, that there’s NO mention of Jerusalem in that way in the Koran then. As opposed to Christian and Jewish scripture. In Real World it’s only a “Holy City” to Islam in the same sence that Constantinople/Istanbul is a holy city or Spain a holy country – they conquered it once. Arguably the Mosque of The a Rock is a holy site – not the entire city full of multiple other non-Muslim holy sites.

Then they followed that up with the lie that there was almost no religious tradition of a “return to Jerusalem” among the Jews, that it was until recent history an entirely secular movement. BS. I’m not Jewish, but even I’ve heard of “next year in the Holy Land, next year in Jerusalem”.

They stopped short of claiming that Jews poison wells and need the blood of non-Jewish children to make their unleavened bread – but I half expected either of those to be next.

    elle in reply to BobM. | May 14, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    The masks have all come off.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to BobM. | May 14, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    The prophet Isaiah—a real prophet, unlike the pedophile Mohammed—predicted the return of the Jews from the diaspora and the blooming of the land under their hands. He even predicted that goods from Israel would be sold the world over. The Bible tells the story of God’s relationship with His people, and that relationship includes the punishment of exile and the restoration and return of the Jews to their promised lands.

    mrzee in reply to BobM. | May 14, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    “no religious tradition of a “return to Jerusalem” among the Jews”
    That’s probably the biggest lie I’ve ever seen the media come up with.

      Arminius in reply to mrzee. | May 15, 2018 at 8:51 am

      To be fair, the LHMFM didn’t come up with it. It was fed to them by the Muslims and they just mindlessly keep bleating it.

    Arminius in reply to BobM. | May 15, 2018 at 8:49 am

    It’s BS that Jerusalem is sacred to Muslims. In fact, the historical evidence is clear. Muslims only cared about Jerusalem because they realized that other people wanted it.

    Caliph abd al Malik built the Dome of the Rock circa 791/2. If you ask any Muslim today why he built that Mosque, they’ll tell you that he built it because that’s where Muhammad ascended into heaven (the Miraj). Yet if you look at the inscriptions on the inner ambulatory, the only original part of the Mosque, there is no mention of the Miraj. It mentions Muhammad, the first archeological evidence of Muhammad’s existence, but the rest is a screed against Christianity.

    And the Dome of the Rock is built on a higher level than the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, overlooking it.

    It’s simply a classic Muslim “victory Mosque,” and a raised middle finger to the Eastern Roman Empire.

    This is because the story of the Miraj, like the entire Quran, any biography of Muhammad, and the ahadith, had yet to be fabricated. It’s all a BS story. The creative writing didn’t even begin until the early 8th century. There was no Islam in the 7th century when Muhammad is purported to have lived. And the fabrication of Islam took centuries of development.

    The Arabs began their conquest in the 630s and had rapid success against the Persians and the Romans. But back then it was religion, not constitutions, that unified empires. So in the early 700s abd al Malik decided to invent one.

    Thomas Jefferson asked John Adams to pick up a Quran while he was in Paris and send it to him. In the letter accompanying the book Adams noted that the Quran was “an obvious forgery.” Frankly so is the entire ideology of Islam. We’ve been stuck with that obvious forgery for over a millennium.

A truly historic day. Everyone needs to take a moment to comprehend this.

I was skeptical about Trump ever actually doing this, but said if he did it he would deserve the credit, and so he does. Bravo, Mr President.

He has actually reversed not 20 years but 70 years of US national policy. Foreign policy is not set by the congress but by the president, and regardless of what various presidents have said, for 70 years their actions have shown their insulting insistence on pretending that Israel’s government has been in a place where it was not. It was exactly the same as if Israel had decided to put its embassy to the USA in Wilmington. I doubt the USA would put up with that for six months, let alone 70 years. And yet Israel has allowed it, not just from the USA but from every other country.

And where is the article celebrating the massacre of all those Palestinians and the deliberate shooing and gassing of thousands of men, woman and children Please raise the flag, wave them about, give the salute and shout out for more of the same. You must kill, maim and wound if you intend to defend.

    Milhouse in reply to RasMoyag. | May 14, 2018 at 11:45 am

    What massacre? There has never been one. Unlike almost any army in thecworld, the IDF can proudly claim that in its entire history it has never once deliberately targeted an innocent person.

    Go to hell, antisemite.

      Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | May 14, 2018 at 10:43 pm

      He’s buying into the Walter Duranty-esque style tongue bath the LHMFM is giving the Hamas regime in Gaza. In case anyone isn’t familiar with Walter Duranty he’s the first “journalist” to win a Pulitzer for “fake news” for the NYT, but I’m sure he won’t be the last. Reporting from the young USSR he denied the existence of the Holodomor, or deliberate genocidal famine, in Ukraine. And he used Soviet figures from I believe the USSR’s “Chamber of Commerce” to back up his reporting.

      It was of course all a lie. But the NYT clings to that Pulitzer like Hillary Clinton to the last bottle of Scotch.

      Now the LHMFM is unquestioningly reporting the figures from another pure propaganda outfit, Hamas’ “Ministry of Health,” to create the impression the IDF is indiscriminately slaughtering innocent Palestinians. Only a fool or an Islamic terrorism sympathizer could possibly buy those numbers. Those are the only two options; gullible useful idiot or complicit.

    Barry in reply to RasMoyag. | May 14, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Hey gasbag commie, fuck off.

    Self defense is not a massacre. The Palestinian’s massacre their children every damn day to further their hatred of the Jews.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to RasMoyag. | May 14, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Has there ever been a group which deserves a massacre as much as Palestinians? Israel has shown amazing self restraint.

    mrzee in reply to RasMoyag. | May 14, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    You’re looking in the wrong place, it’s Hamas that celebrates Gazan deaths. Try their website.

    You’re welcome.

Goodyear stock just went up.

Yesterday, Iyar 28th on the Jewish calendar, was Jsrusalem Day, the anniversary of the city’s liberation from Jordanian occupation 51 years ago.

Less known is today’s holiday, Hevron Day, when that city was singlehandedly taken by Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who was then the head of the IDF chaplaincy, and later a chief rabbi of Israel.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Milhouse. | May 14, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    It’s a pity Moshe Dayan allowed the Muslims to have control of Temple Mount.

      Milhouse in reply to Juba Doobai!. | May 14, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      Dayan had no use whatsoever for the Jewish religion or for Jewish history, or for anything connected with them. As far as he was concerned “Israeli” was a brand new nationality.

Juba Doobai! | May 14, 2018 at 3:50 pm

So, tell me, Miriam, will Jews now abandon the Jew-hating Democrat Party?

“You don’t have to like everything Trump says or does…”

My exact thought when I read this on the morning digest. I will never think that Trump ever should have been elected and will not support him, but I will acknowledge that a bad person can still do the right things. Trump’s policy on the embassy, the peace process, and the UN are indeed the right ones. (Truman and Nixon were anti-Semites and still did the right thing with regard to Israel.) I can separate my dislike for the man from what he does as president. However, I still think that the other candidates could have had the same accomplishments without the baggage.