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Israel and Jerusalem

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No Democrats at U.S. Embassy Event in Jerusalem

May 15th 2018

Jerusalem wide

Observers at the ceremony in Israel that marked the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem noted that not a single elected Democrat was there to celebrate. On hand at the ceremony, however, were Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to represent President Donald Trump, in addition to numerous other dignitaries from the United States besides Israeli representatives. 

Conservative activist Candace Owens tweeted from Jerusalem, “Amazingly, not a single elected Democrat is here to celebrate this historic event in Jerusalem, a bonafide signal that they do not stand with Israel. This snub will not soon be forgotten—not in America or abroad.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “Thank you, President Trump, for having the courage to keep your promises. Thank you, President Trump for making the alliance between Israel and the United States stronger than ever.”

A delegation of senators was led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), while the delegation from the House was led by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC).The founder and executive director of the conservative advocacy group, Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk, tweeted: “At the dedication ceremony for the US embassy here in Jerusalem 14 congressmen, 4 senators, and one governor are here Zero democrats. Zero.” Kirk added, “Democrats do not stand with Israel. They have turned their back on our closest ally in the Middle East.”

In the crowd was Joseph Lieberman, a Jewish American who served as U.S. Senator from 1989 until 2013 as a Democrat for Connecticut. He no longer holds elected office. In the Senate, Lieberman was a member of the bipartisan coalition that brought out the original Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which required the Executive branch to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Since then, presidents were able to delay the move indefinitely by six month intervals. Last year, President Trump announced that he was making the move. Lieberman called it a “bold move” and overdue. “I am grateful to President Trump for making this decision,” Lieberman said.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and called for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city. The allowed the President to invoke a six-month waiver of the application of the law, and reissue the waiver every six months on "national security" grounds. The waiver was repeatedly invoked by Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. President Trump signed a waiver in June 2017. On December 6, 2017, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and ordered the planning of the relocation of the embassy. After signing another embassy waiver again, which delayed the move, as mandated by the Act, by at least six months, on February 23 of this year, Trump announced that the American embassy in Israel would reopen at the Arnona consular services site of the current American Consulate-General in Jerusalem, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence.


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