“We’re looking at coming again. If I can, I will.” That’s how U.S. President Donald Trump replied to the question of whether he will attend the opening of the new American Embassy in Jerusalem for the celebration of Israel’s 70th Independence Day.
He said the initial, temporary building will be built “very quickly,” and added, “Israel is very special to me. Special country, special people.” He also said that although he had initially been given a construction estimate for a billion dollars, the temporary structure would be built for $250,000 instead. “How do you like that?” he said in an aside to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, sitting next to him. Netanyahu chuckled.
The prime minister thanked the president for his announcement telling the world that he would move the embassy to Jerusalem this May, calling it an “historic proclamation” and saying Trump would be remembered for millenia by the Jewish People for his actions.
“I want to tell you that the Jewish people have a long memory, so we remember the proclamation of the great king, Cyrus the Great, Persian king 2,500 years ago. He proclaimed that the Jewish exiles in Babylon could come back and rebuild our Temple in Jerusalem. We remember a hundred years ago, Lord Balfour, who issued the Balfour Proclamation that recognized the rights of the Jewish people in our ancestral homeland. We remember 70 years ago, President Harry S. Truman was the first leader to recognize the Jewish state. And we remember how a few weeks ago, President Donald J. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Mr. President, this will be remembered by our people through the ages.
“And as you just said, others talked about it; you did it. So, I want to thank you on behalf of the people of Israel, and I also look forward to our discussions on both challenges and opportunities,” Netanyahu said.