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    U.S. Embassy moving to Jerusalem on May 14, 2018 – Israel’s 70th Independence Day

    U.S. Embassy moving to Jerusalem on May 14, 2018 – Israel’s 70th Independence Day

    Promise kept, sooner than expected.

    We have covered the campaign promise, then announcement that the U.S. Embassy would move to Jerusalem, as part of the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

    That has met a furious response from Palestinians, including a boycott of U.S. diplomacy, and scattered violence.

    The easiest way to “move” the Embassy was to redesignate the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem as the Embassy.

    http://www.mann-shinar.com/details.asp?ID=_1118

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/U.S.+Consular+Section/@31.7468057,35.225795,648m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x45970797f2161c03!8m2!3d31.7476116!4d35.2246196

    That’s what Mike Pence said weeks ago would happen by the end of 2019, as we covered in In Israel, Mike Pence responds to critics of Embassy move to Jerusalem: We’re speeding it up to 2019

    But it’s going to be a lot sooner.

    U.S. officials have just told various media outlets the redesignation will take place on May 14, 2018, in conjunction with Israel’s 70th Independence Day celebrations.

    The Times of Israel reports:

    The new US Embassy in Jerusalem will open in May 2018 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring independence, two Trump administration officials said Friday.

    The officials said Congress was being notified of the impending move on Friday. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed off on the security plan for the new embassy on Thursday.

    The officials weren’t authorized to discuss the plan publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    A ribbon-cutting ceremony was being planned for mid-May. Israel proclaimed independence on May 14, 1948. According to Channel 10 and Hadashot news, the ceremony could be held on May 14 to honor that date.

    Haaretz further reports:

    The United States will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May to coincide with Israel’s 70th Independence Day, a U.S. official told Haaretz on Friday.

    U.S. President Donald Trump spoke about the decision during his appearance before the annual CPAC conference in Washington. “It was the right thing to do,” Trump said.

    “I was hit by more countries and more pressure and more people calling, begging me not to do it. Don’t do it. And I said – ‘we have to do it, it’s the right thing to do.'”

    The embassy will initially be located in a facility in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood that handles consular affairs, such as passports and visas. At first, the embassy will house U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman accompanied by a small team of staff….

    While, technically, Independence Day is on May 14 as Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion established the State of Israel on that day in 1948, Israel celebrates its independence day according to the Hebrew date coinciding with May 14, 1948, which is the fifth day of Iyar. This year, Independence Day celebrations will start on the evening of April 18 and will finish on April 19.

    You know who is going to be most upset? Not the Palestinians, though we certainly are in for more days of rage.

    The workers at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, many of whom will transfer to Jerusalem and lose their beachfront water view.

    UPDATE

    Official State Department announcement:

    In May, the United States plans to open a new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. The opening will coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary. The Embassy will initially be located in the Arnona neighborhood, in a modern building that now houses consular operations of U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem. Those consular operations, including American citizen and visa services, will continue at the Arnona facility without interruption, as part of the Embassy. Consulate General Jerusalem will continue to operate as an independent mission with an unchanged mandate, from its historic Agron Road location. Initially, the interim Embassy in Arnona will contain office space for the Ambassador and a small staff. By the end of next year, we intend to open a new Embassy Jerusalem annex on the Arnona compound that will provide the Ambassador and his team with expanded interim office space. In parallel, we have started the search for a site for our permanent Embassy to Israel, the planning and construction of which will be a longer-term undertaking. We are excited about taking this historic step, and look forward with anticipation to the May opening.

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    Comments



     
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    Milhouse | February 25, 2018 at 3:27 am

    While, technically, Independence Day is on May 14 as Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion established the State of Israel on that day in 1948, Israel celebrates its independence day according to the Hebrew date coinciding with May 14, 1948, which is the fifth day of Iyar. This year, Independence Day celebrations will start on the evening of April 18 and will finish on April 19.

    No, technically and in every other way Independence Day is not May 14, it’s Iyyar 5. That in 1948 this happened to be May 14 on the Gregorian calendar is no more significant than whatever date it was on the Chinese calendar. However Israel usually celebrates its independence day a day or two off the historical date, and this year it will be celebrated on Iyyar 4, which is April 18/19 (dates on the Hebrew calendar change at sunset, not midnight).

    Consulate General Jerusalem will continue to operate as an independent mission with an unchanged mandate

    Now this I do not understand at all. In no other city in the world does the US maintain both an embassy and a consulate. Every US embassy in the world provides consular services, and US consulates are established only in cities that do not have embassies. I assume the TA embassy will become a consulate.

    The J’m consulate has historically been run differently from others, since it does not report to the US ambassador in TA but directly to State. This is because the US has never recognized J’m as part of Israel, so the J’m consulate is considered not to be in any particular country. I understand this announcement to mean that this peculiar and insulting arrangement will continue, with the J’m consulate continuing to insist it’s not in Israel. Why not close it down and transfer its functions to the embassy?


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