Report: Pompeo may lead US delegation to Jerusalem embassy opening

US President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, may be in Jerusalem next month for the American embassy opening. According to a Hadashot news report, Pompeo may be appointed to lead the American delegation to the event, which will be attended by Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner.
Mike Pompeo Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

The White House is weighing the possibility of sending US Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo to Jerusalem as the head of the 250-member strong delegation to the American embassy opening, Hadashot news reported on Wednesday. However, an official statement has yet to be released due to Pompeo’s Senate confirmation vote, which is slated for tomorrow.  

Earlier this week, Channel 10 reported that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been selected to head the delegation. Among those who are said to attend the ceremony are two of US President Donald Trump’s close advisors, his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both of whom are Jewish. In addition, about 40 senators and representatives, including Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham, and Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, are expected to come to Jerusalem for the event.

Meanwhile, Israel’s security establishment is preparing for the possibility that the move could spark a new wave of violence in Israel, the West Bank and along the Gaza border. Hadashot news reported earlier this week that the Palestinian Authority is planning to join Hamas in focusing extensive efforts on encouraging acts of violence ahead of the embassy transfer. However, a top Israeli official stressed that the American embassy move is “worth the price” of Palestinian outrage.   

“There are no free meals,” he told Hadashot. “This is a historic and significant process that Israel must not pass up.”

Last month, the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University published a monthly peace index that showed that most of the Israeli public believes that the transfer of embassy will lead to a violent Palestinian outbreak. However, most Jewish Israelis think that this is not sufficient reason to postpone the process.

Trump announced his decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in December when he recognized the holy city as Israel’s capital, sparking a wave of condemnation across the world. However, his decisions were applauded in Israel. “There are great moments in Zionist history: the Balfour Declaration, the state’s establishment, the liberation of Jerusalem and yesterday – Trump’s declaration,” Netanyahu stated in a statement a day after Trump’s declaration. “I told him: My friend, Mr. President, you’re going to make history. And yesterday, he made history.”



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