Israel, US mark anniversary of embassy move to Jerusalem

With Trump’s administration winding down, Netanyahu paid tribute to the president’s numerous decisions during his tenure that directly impacted Israel.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel and the United States on Sunday marked the third anniversary of the announcement by U.S. President Trump that the U.S. would move the American embassy to Jerusalem and recognize that city as Israel’s capital.

In a short ceremony in Jerusalem before the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu thanked U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and praised Trump for his moves that have “ushered in a new period of peace.”

Netanyahu and Friedman placed a signed copy of Trump’s declaration on the wall of the cabinet room alongside the 1948 proclamation by U.S. President Harry S. Truman recognizing the newly established state of Israel.

“These two historic proclamations will never be forgotten … by the Jewish people and by the Jewish state, they will be cherished for generations,” Netanyahu said.

Along with the Jerusalem decision, Netanyahu praised Trump for recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the strategic Golan Heights, accepting Israeli rights in Judea and Samaria, and proposing a peace plan with the Palestinians “that acknowledges those rights and maintains Israel’s ability to defend itself.”

Netanyahu said he was grateful to Trump fpr helping to broker the historic Abraham Accords under which Israel signed peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and is expected to sign a peace deal with Sudan.

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The accords “ushered in a new period of peace that is dramatically changing the face of the Middle East before our very eyes,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu also thanked Trump for facing down Iran.

“Rather than appease those who chant ‘death to America’ and ‘death to Israel’ in Tehran, you withdrew from the dangerous nuclear Iran deal, placed crippling sanctions on Iran and took out the world’s most dangerous terrorist, Qassem Soleimani,” the prime minister said, calling the Israel-U.S. alliance “stronger than ever.”

In his remarks, Friedman noted that the embassy move was not new, but rather Trump finally actualizing the Jerusalem Embassy Act that had been passed by Congress in 1995 “by overwhelming partisan majorities.”

Several presidents before Trump had shied away from implementing the congressional act out of fear that such a move would spark a regional conflict. However, only a few minor protests were held when the embassy was moved.

That result appeared to break the common thinking in diplomatic circles that bypassing Palestinian demands would result in violent pushback. Freed of that handicap, Trump forged ahead to broker the peace treaties with the two Gulf nations – infuriating the Palestinians and Iranians, but generating no violent opposition.

“President Trump … sent a clear message to the world that the United States stands unflinchingly with its allies, and that the United States bases its foreign policy on truth, not on wishful thinking or upon fantasies,” Friedman said, in what may be seen as a backhanded jibe at President-elect Joe Biden, who was vice president during the Obama administration’s fractious relationship with the Israeli government.