Donald Trump will not be attending the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem on May 14th, and neither will Vice President Mike Pence. Instead, Trump is sending his daughter, Ivanka Trump and her husband, White House senior advisor Jared Kushner. It’s not clear at this time why Donald Trump is not making the trip to Israel himself, but he fully supported the embassy move to Jerusalem as a campaign promise.
Israel National News supposes that Donald Trump might be busy working on his response to the Iran nuclear deal which has a deadline of May 12. Or perhaps Trump is needed in reference to the legal matters involving his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Other countries are following the U.S. example and moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after the opening of the U.S. embassy. Guatemala will open its embassy in Jerusalem on May 16 of this year, and Paraguay is scheduled to open its embassy in Jerusalem by the end of the month.
The Washington Examiner said that Jared Kushner is representing the White House as he has had involvement in the region, working on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and he and his wife, Ivanka Trump happen to be Jewish (Ivanka Trump converted to Judaism before marrying Kushner).
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will lead the American delegation to Jerusalem and will be joined by the United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt according to a press release shared by the White House.
In late April, Donald Trump was still considering making the trip to Jerusalem himself.
“I may go, I’m very proud of it.”
When the decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was announced in December, the Trump administration suggested that the move wasn’t imminent and might not take place until Trump was out of office. But Trump made the decision to push the move up and renovate an existing building instead of constructing a new one. Trump explained that the move would save American taxpayers money and fulfill a campaign promise.
“They were going to spend $1 billion, and we are going to spend much less than a half a million — could have done it for much less than that, but I said, ‘Let’s make it really nice.'”
Reuters announced today that workers have been busy in Jerusalem hanging new signs directing visitors to the location of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. The signs are in English, Hebrew, and Arabic.