FULL VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Ivanka Unveils New Embassy; Speeches By Trump, Netanyahu, Rivlin, Jared Kushner & Amb. Freidman

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(VIDEOS & PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE) 

President Donald Trump declared Monday a “great day” for Israel as his top aides celebrated the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem as a campaign promised fulfilled.

Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, led the U.S. delegation with a single message: Only Trump had the courage to act on what America has wanted for a long time.

“While presidents before him have backed down from their pledge to move the American Embassy once they were in office, this president delivered. Because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it,” Kushner said.

In a video address that aided at the ceremony’s opening, Trump said the U.S. still remains “fully committed” to pursing a Mideast peace deal. Trump’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, reiterated that goal in a statement calling for “lasting and comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

But critics of the move, including some European officials, say the U.S. decision will only serve to exacerbate tensions and make it more difficult for the U.S. to offer itself as a neutral party. The world’s largest body of Muslim-majority nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said it considers the U.S. move an “illegal decision” and “an attack” on the Palestinian people.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said: “This is not an embassy; it’s a U.S. settlement outpost in Jerusalem.”

White House officials have rejected this complaint.

“As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution,” said Kushner, who is Trump’s chief Mideast adviser.

Earlier that morning on Twitter, Trump urged people to watch the ceremony on television and declaring the day “A great day for Israel!” As the ceremony began, he wrote: “Big day for Israel. Congratulations!”

Likewise, Trump’s aides also made no direct reference to the climbing death toll in protests on the Gaza border. In a Fox News interview, Mnuchin repeatedly referenced Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said Trump should be praised for “taking action” to keep Americans and people in the Middle East safe.

“The president is making difficult decisions because they are what he believes are the right long term decisions and not just kicking the can down the road,” Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin also said “it’s not coincidental” that the embassy move coincided with Trump’s announcement that he planned to abandon the Iran nuclear deal.

Also on hand were Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, Dean Heller of Nevada and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Trump’s policy is a sharp departure from past U.S. administrations, which have tried to position America as a neutral party ready to broker a peace deal.

“Of all the things President Trump could have done, doing this (embassy move) is the strongest signal he could send to the Israeli people,” South Carolina’s Graham said.

Attending the ceremony Monday was Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson and his wife Mirian, who at one point offered to pay for part of the new embassy.

(YWN / AP)




6 COMMENTS

  1. “…the United States On America….”
    Oops! Or was it an elitist’s way of describing our great country.
    No big deal – just noteworthy!

  2. Graphic Image warning!
    This image may hurt you נשמה !
    ולא תתורו אחרי לבבכם ואחרי עיניכם אשר אתם זונים אחריהם

  3. YiddishKind, I looked at all the pictures on YWN but missed the graphic images; where are they??
    My recommendation as a married man with kids, and with all respect and humbleness, I recommend you speak with your Rav and a Marriage therapist.