With great joy, I am returning to Jerusalem. I am honored to join the distinguished delegation representing President Trump, his Administration, and the American people at this momentous ceremony commemorating the opening of our new US Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel. We look forward to celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary and the bright future ahead. We will pray for the boundless potential of the future of the U.S.-Israel alliance, and we will pray for peace.
President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, along with her husband Jared Kushner, has arrived in Israel for the opening ceremony of the controversial U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, a move that is expected to be met with widespread protests from the Palestinians.
The official U.S. delegation is headed by deputy secretary of state John Sullivan, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and several other congress members but all eyes would be on the first daughter who is there to represent her father.
Trump’s decision to shift the embassy to Jerusalem enraged many.
The decision by President Trump on Jerusalem - which includes occupied Palestinian territory - is reckless, wrong and a threat to peace. It is being rightly condemned across the international community.— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) December 6, 2017
The inauguration ceremony was planned to coincide with Israel’s 70th declaration of independence.
“We look forward to celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary and the bright future ahead,” Ivanka wrote on Instagram. “We will pray for the boundless potential of the future of the US-Israel alliance, and we will pray for peace.”
However, not many would agree with the move reflective of bringing peace to the region.
In 2017, Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a city the world considers as a “corpus separatum,” an internationally controlled city, according to a United Nations declaration after World War II, infuriated many Muslim nations.
“Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do,” he said.
With only a few expectations, almost every other country has their Israel embassy located in Tel Aviv.
The ceremony will take place in the U.S. Consulate’s visa section in Jerusalem which will later become the embassy.
U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman said the decision taken to move the embassy was based on “the interests of the United States”.
Ivanka is accompanied by her husband Kushner, who is an Orthodox Jew, who reportedly has strong Israeli connections, which may one of the chief reasons why he was part of the delegation.
Kushner was listed in a 2015 report by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as a benefactor for its real estate committee, which required a donation of at least $36,000 to the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group.
Kushner's parents donated $20 million two years ago to a medical school campus in Jerusalem now named after them.
Reports also suggest that Kushner and Ivanka, who converted to Judaism after her marriage, were blessed by Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, who once compared African-Americans to monkeys.
Jared and Ivanka also received a blessing from Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzchok Yosef (photo by Shloimy Cohen) pic.twitter.com/PEvyE9pTM7— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) May 13, 2018
“You can’t make the blessing on every ‘kushi’ you see — in America you see one every five minutes, so you make it only on a person with a white father and mother,” he said, according to The Times of Israel. "How do would you know? Let’s say you know! So they had a monkey as a son, a son like this, so you say the blessing on him.”
The Anti-Defamation League called the remarks “utterly unacceptable.” However, the rabbi’s office responded that he was merely borrowing language from the “Talmud.”
With Ivanka a mere 50 km away from the Israeli border, protestors in Gaza have announced they will march to the border, Israel said they will respond with force.
While the first daughter “prays for peace,” this move by the Trump administration may just prolong the decades old bloodshed that follows protests from Palestinians at the hands of Israeli forces.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Amir Cohen