As the grand ceremony for the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem approaches, the details about the White House’s plans for the event are coming to light. According to a Channel 10 report, a 250-member delegation, headed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, will be sent from the US.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Photo Credit: EPA
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been selected to head an American delegation of 250 people, including Washington officials and Jewish leaders, to the opening ceremony of the American embassy in Jerusalem next month, Israel’s Channel 10 reported on Sunday evening.
Mnuchin will reportedly be accompanied by two of US President Donald Trump’s close advisors, his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, who are both Jewish. The Israeli news report also stated that the delegation is said to include some 40 senators and representatives, including Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham. Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, is also expected to attend the ceremony.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had invited Trump to the May 14 ceremony, and at a press conference in March, Trump said that he may travel to Israel for the event. However, the White House later stated that due to schedule conflicts, Trump would not be able to make it.
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.”
In late February, the US State Department announced that the transfer of the embassy would coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary of independence, another decision that was praised in Israel. “This is a great moment for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said in a short video statement at the time. “President Trump’s decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem will make our Independence Day celebration even happier. Thank you, President Trump, for your leadership, and for your friendship.”