Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman – a descendant of the kohanim, the priests of Israel – has been officially designated to preside over the dedication of the U.S. Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem on Monday, May 14.

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In addition to being the secular date of Israel’s 70th anniversary, this year it follows by one day the observed day of Israel’s national holiday, Yom Yerushalayim, which commemorates the reunification of the holy city of Jerusalem. (The actual Hebrew date, 28 Iyar, fell on the Sabbath, and so observance was pushed off by one day.)

Deputy Secretary John J. Sullivan will lead the Presidential Delegation to the historic opening along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senior Presidential Advisor Jared Kushner, Advisor Ivanka Trump, and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt.

“As the President stated on December 6, 2017, the historic opening of our embassy recognizes the reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the seat of its government,” read a statement from the U.S. State Department released on Saturday.

“Seventy years ago, the United States, under President Harry S Truman, became the first nation to recognize the State of Israel. Moving our Embassy is not a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace deal; rather it is a necessary condition for it. We are not taking a position on final status issues, including the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, nor on the resolution of contested borders.

“Consulate General Jerusalem will continue to operate as an independent mission with an unchanged mandate responsible for U.S. relations with the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority.

“The United States continues to support the status quo with regard to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. The Administration is firmly committed to pursuing a lasting and comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians that promises a brighter future for both.”

During his stay in Jerusalem, Sullivan is slated to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General Yuval Rotem.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.