What’s going on with the United States Embassy in Jerusalem?
On October 23, 1995, the United States House and Senate voted to adopt the Jerusalem Embassy Act, setting a plan in motion to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Despite the passage of the law, the President was allowed to invoke a waiver every six months to postpone the relocation of the embassy.
The waiver was repeatedly invoked by Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama on national security grounds, but on December 6, 2017, President Donald Trump ordered the planning of the relocation of the US embassy in a historic act.
Where will the new US Embassy be located?
The new embassy will be located on 14 David Flusser Street, the former location of the US Consulate.
Will it be a fully functioning embassy?
The United States plans to move its staff to the new embassy in phases because the current structure is not large enough for its needs. Ambassador David Friedman will be moved to Jerusalem as part of the opening phase, however.
After May 14th, the Embassy in Jerusalem will provide passport, citizenship, notarial, and emergency consular services to US citizens in Israel, as well as to US citizens in the West Bank and Gaza who are able to come to Jerusalem to apply for consular services in person.
The Embassy will also provide emergency assistance to US citizens in Jerusalem. Individuals present in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza may apply for nonimmigrant and immigrant visa services and federal benefits (Social Security) at the Embassy.
Consular services are available by appointment only. All immigrant visas and all federal benefits services for individuals living in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza are processed only at the Embassy in Jerusalem.
Who is coming to the dedication ceremony?
A delegation of over 250 people from the United States will be attending the dedication ceremony. They include Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Jared and Ivanka Kushner, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham, Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and Jewish and pro-Israel Christian leaders from the US.
President Trump, who is unable to attend the ceremony, will address attendees by video.
What will happen at the ceremony?
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 3:30 PM in Israel. According to US Ambassador David Friedman, the dedication will include speeches and an unveiling of the official plaque of the embassy.
The area around the embassy has also been decked out in red, white, and blue.
Can I watch the ceremony online?
Yes! The dedication ceremony will be streamed online and can be watched in the window below: