Liveblog: The US Embassy Dedication Ceremony

Welcome to the archive of the re:Jerusalem liveblog of the US Embassy Dedication Ceremony!

17:19

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17:18

The ceremony has concluded, notably without the recitation of Israel’s anthem, HaTikva.

17:15

Hagit Yaso is being called upon once again to sing Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu (peace will come upon us, yet). The song, also called Salaam, was composed by Israeli musician Mosh Ben Ari.

17:00

“Remember this moment!” -Bibi

17:00

President Rivlin’s Hebraization of Steven Mnuchin’s surname seems to have stuck.

16:59

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken the podium.

16:57

President’s Trump speech is now online.

16:54

Kushner is emphasizing peace but is not mentioning a peace plan. It is rumored that the US is reluctant to present its peace plan for fear that the Palestinians will reject it outright.

16:50

Kushner is the first speaker to mention President Trump’s decision to back away from the Iran Deal.

16:44

Jared Kushner has taken the podium.

16:40

President Trump seems to be watching the feed from Jerusalem.

16:39

President Reuven Rivlin has taken the podium.

16:33

Hagit Yaso is singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Yaso is an Israeli singer who won the ninth season of Kokhav Nolad, an Israeli television show, similar to American Idol. 

16:31

The seal is revealed, officially marking the conversion of the consulate into an embassy.

16:30

The seal of the embassy is about to be unveiled by Steve Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump.

16:26

President Trump’s pre-recorded message is now playing.

16:25

As mentioned by Sullivan, the Trump envoy sees the embassy move as a step in the direction of peace.

16:23

Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan has taken the podium. Sullivan served as the Acting United States Secretary of State from April 1, 2018 to April 26, 2018, following President Trump’s dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on March 13, 2018, until Tillerson’s official successor, Mike Pompeo, was sworn in.

16:19

“Truth is not determined by popular opinion.” Rabbi Zalman Wolowik

16:16

Robert Jeffress and Rabbi Zalman Wolowik have taken the stage to share a blessing. Jeffress was criticized by Mitt Romney earlier today.

16:14

There are a total of 14 congressmen, four senators, and one governor at the ceremony.

16:07

Some notable guests in attendance include Sheldon Adelson, Joe Lieberman, and Alan Dershowitz.

16:06

Ambassador David Friedman has taken the podium.

16:04

The event has begun with the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner.

15:56

Jared and Ivanka have arrived at the ceremony. Jared is expected to speak at the event.

15:55

“Of all the things the president could have done, moving the embassy is the strongest symbol.” -Senator Lindsey Graham

15:53

There’s a full house today.

15:47

Nir Barkat is getting a bite to eat before the ceremony.

15:38

What’s the difference between a consulate and an embassy, anyway? This answer from StackExchange sheds some light:

From the perspective of a traveler, there is almost zero difference.

Both embassies and consulates are representative departments of a foreign country/government within another country.

Technically, an Embassy is where an “Ambassador” is based. As there can only be one Ambassador for a specific country, there can only be (at most) one Embassy. As the Ambassador is the highest ranking representative of that foreign government, the Embassy is thus also deemed to be the highest level of representative location.

A consulate is similar, but generally deemed to be a lower ranking due to the lack of an Ambassador. Consulates will generally be smaller – often being more like an office where the embassy often doubles as the actual residence for the Ambassador and/or some of his staff.

15:36

The event is being streamed live on Facebook and the official White House channel on YouTube.

15:30

There is no shortage of supporters hanging out around the embassy.

15:24

Around Jerusalem, MAGA kippahs are a top seller this week, according to a local proprietor.

15:22

Attendees are appropriately being given hats to commemorate the event.

15:21

The text of the Jerusalem Embassy Act is on display at the ceremony.

15:19

The Guatemalan Embassy is moving to Jerusalem on Wednesday. Next in line for the move are Paraguay and the Czech Republic.

15:14

A proposal for the embassy was created in 2003 by Amir Mann / Ami Shinar Architects.

15:13

The US ambassador’s residence will remain in Herzliya Pituah until an adequate location in Jerusalem is found.

15:13

50 people under the embassy’s employ in Tel Aviv will begin work in Jerusalem tomorrow. It will take years for the rest of the staff to be moved to Jerusalem.

15:10

According to David Friedman, the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem came in ahead of schedule and under budget.

15:07

800 people were invited to the opening ceremony today.

15:00

The City of Gold has been decked out in red, white, and blue to celebrate the occasion.

14:53

Prime Minister Netanyahu took some time out of his day to thank President Trump on Twitter.

14:48

Earlier today, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat presented a group from the American delegation with a sign from the junction near the embassy that was recently dedicated in honor of the United States and President Trump (pictured in the header).

(Header Photo by Erez Shani)

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