Ivanka Trump to lead US delegation at embassy’s Jerusalem opening

Around 250 administration officials, senators, congressmen, and Christian and Jewish leaders are arriving to usher in the historic event.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The celebration of America’s historic embassy move, from Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, began Sunday with a large delegation led by President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law.

Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, who both act as close advisors to the president, are part of a 250-member group that has come to attend the official dedication ceremony for the American embassy.

In anticipation of her second visit in a year, Trump noted on her Instagram page Saturday how happy she was to be coming to celebrate Israel’s birthday in such a way.

“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,” she wrote, adding that they would also pray for peace as well as “the boundless potential of the future of the U.S.-Israel alliance.”

Some of the other distinguished guests are Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and some 40 members of the legislative branch, including strong supporters of Israel such as Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham. Trump’s envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, American ambassador David Friedman, and leaders of both Christian and Jewish organizations will also be present to take part in this historic moment.

Kicking off the festivities, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hosting a reception on Sunday at the Foreign Affairs ministry for some 800 invitees, including 40 ambassadors. Although most of the European diplomats have reportedly decided not to attend, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Romania were set to be represented at the event.

The latter three countries just blocked the EU from putting out an official condemnation of the American embassy move to Jerusalem. Since EU rules state that such resolutions must be unanimous, the objections of the three former Iron Curtain countries ensured that it would not pass.

On Monday, the official dedication ceremony will be held in the new U.S. consulate-turned-embassy in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood. Thousands of police officers have been deployed throughout the city to maintain order, secure the embassy and direct traffic.

Two days after the American inauguration, Guatemala will be following suit, opening its own Jerusalem offices in the Malha Technological Park in the presence of its president, Jimmy Morales. Paraguay announced that it would join its Central American neighbor in Jerusalem by the end of the month.