(JERUSALEM POST) — Sixty-nine years after Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital, and 23 years after the US Congress passed a law mandating that Washington move its embassy there, the US formally opened its embassy in the city on Monday afternoon, in a move Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called “courageous” and “momentous.”
“What a glorious day. Remember this moment!” Netanyahu entreated the applauding crowd. “President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history. All of us are deeply moved. All of us are deeply grateful.”
“Last December, President Trump became the first world leader to recognize Jerusalem as our capital, and today, the United States of America is opening its embassy right here in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “Thank you President Trump, for having the courage to keep your promises!”
In a video address to the assembly, US President Donald Trump said the move was “a long time coming,” and that Israel, like all sovereign nations, has a right to name its own capital.
Trump mentioned that the US would still be observing the status quo in terms of contested territories such as on Temple Mount.
“The US will always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of freedom and peace,” Trump said. “We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors. May there be peace. May God bless this embassy. May God bless all who serve here and may God bless the United States of America.”
Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, took the stage. to declare that “When President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it.”
“By moving our embassy to Jerusalem, we have shown the world once again that the US can be trusted. We stand with our friends and our allies, and above all we’ve shown that the US will do what’s right, and so we have,” Kushner said.
“The US stands with Israel because we both believe in freedom. We stand together because we both believe in human rights. We stand together because we both believe that democracy is worth defending. And the US stands with Israel because we know that it’s the right thing to do.”
Kushner received resounding applause when he mentioned President Trump’s decision last week to exit the Iran nuclear agreement, and when he gave thanks to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for her hard work.
Kusher also reiterated the US’s commitment to helping find a peaceful end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Jerusalem must remain a city that brings people of all faiths together,” he said. “As Israel turns 70, the search for lasting peace turns over a new leaf: one of realism, and of courage to stand with our allies for what is right and what is true.”
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