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Jerusalem - Democrats Stay Home While Republicans Celebrate Opening Of US Embassy In Jerusalem

Published on: May 14, 2018 07:05 PM
By: AP
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Senior White House Advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin applaud during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Senior White House Advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin applaud during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018.

Jerusalem - The opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem attracted more than a dozen Republican members of Congress, two billionaire GOP fundraisers and the president’s eldest daughter, putting on a display of political muscle and Republican unity rare for the Trump era.

Even as it sparked deadly protests in the Mideast, President Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem united a cross-section of the GOP. It injected new energy into the evangelical movement, which has long wanted the embassy moved because of the deep religious significance of the area. And it pleased big donors and allowed Trump to claim another campaign promise kept.

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“Above all else, we’ve shown that the United States of America will do what’s right. And so we have,” declared Trump’s chief Mideast adviser, son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The celebration underscored the power of the evangelical wing of the party, which has set aside early skepticism of Trump to deliver some the president’s most loyal — and rewarded — backers. The outpouring of support Tuesday, initiated by a president who isn’t steeped in the complex issues, even surprised some of the movement leaders.

“This is one thing that’s most visible, tangible, recognizable by the evangelical community,” said Tony Perkins, who leads the social conservative Family Research Council. “It’s actually taken me aback a bit to see just how strongly this is received.”

Top officials with the Republican National Committee, along with a delegation of four Republican senators, 10 Republican congressmen and one Republican governor, cheered Kushner from the gallery. The RNC’s new finance chair Tom Ricketts attended. The GOP’s most powerful political donor, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, watched from the front row minutes earlier as Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin unveiled the embassy’s new facade.

“I did it for my constituents — their love and affection for the people of Israel,” said Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., who organized the U.S. delegation’s visit. He was also pleased by the Adelson family’s reaction.

“Just to see their joy was a moment of happiness for me,” Wilson said of Adelson, who in recent days donated $30 million to a super PAC focused on helping the House GOP retain its majority this fall.

Amid this week’s parades and receptions across Israel, however, partisan divisions back home were rising to the surface.

Not a single elected Democrat attended the celebration in Israel. Most were silent Monday as the ceremony unfolded on television. A few, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, issued written statements of support.

“Every nation should have the right to choose its capital. I sponsored legislation to do this two decades ago, and I applaud President Trump for doing it,” the top Senate Democrat said in a rare moment of agreement with the Republican president.

Wilson said he personally invited “a significant number” of Democrats to attend the festivities in person, but many cited scheduling conflicts.

The politics on the left are far more complicated.

Liberal groups such as Indivisible have opposed moving the embassy, warning it would be provoke violence and demolish trust with the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as a future capital.

Violence broke out along the Israel-Gaza border Monday, leaving more than 50 Palestinians dead. The move appeared to end — at least for now — America’s chances of becoming a neutral peace broker in the Middle East.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called the deadly protests in Gaza “just heartbreaking.” She called on the administration to state its “unequivocal support” for a two-state solution and restart negotiations.

“The location of the embassy is a final-status issue that should have been resolved as part of peace negotiations where both sides benefit, not just one side,” Feinstein said.

Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, was among the evangelical leaders invited to the ceremony. He called the absence of Democrats “sad.”

Reed had little to say on Pastor Robert Jeffress, the leader of a Dallas-area Baptist church, who delivered the opening blessing at Monday’s ceremony. Jeffress has previously called Islam a cult, called Mormonism “a heresy from the pit of hell” and declared Jews “can’t be saved.”

His participation drew criticism from one prominent Republican, Utah GOP Senate candidate Mitt Romney, who called the pastor a “religious bigot.”

Jeffress told The Associated Press he believed his comments were taken out of context.

“I think it’s sad that Mitt feels the need to lash out in anger on such a historic day, but it’s not going to overshadow what is happening here,” he said.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said he couldn’t explain how Jeffress became involved with the event. But he said those views, “if they’re accurate reflections of what was said, wouldn’t be embraced by this White House.”

Despite the spat, Monday undoubtedly marked a new high-point for the Christian conservatives, already pleased with Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court. Trump, who rarely speaks about his faith and used to support abortion rights, had not been an obvious ally.

Perkins noted that Trump himself was initially confused by the connection between America’s evangelicals and Israel. The issue came up during a recent meeting at the White House.

“He made the comment that in New York, he didn’t think that Christians and Jews got along that well,” Perkins recalled. “But he saw that the evangelicals have a deep appreciation for the Jewish people and for Israel and stand strongly with them. So it’s been kind of an educational process for him to understand how important this is to the evangelical community.”

The impact of the embassy rippled across Iowa, where some religious conservatives have struggled to accept Trump’s comments about women and his three marriages, said Bob Vander Plaats, who leads the Iowa-based Family Leader.

“People are high-fiving. What a historic day,” he said. The historic move overshadows “any flaws or baggage that Trump may carry that evangelicals are uncomfortable with.”

In a video address shown at the ceremony’s opening, Trump said the U.S. still remains “fully committed” to pursing a Mideast peace deal.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Trump said of his decision.

He continued. “May there be peace, may God bless this embassy, may God bless all who serve there, and may God bless the United States of America.”



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Read Comments (23)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 14, 2018 at 07:39 PM Hoshomer Says:

As we have been saying for decades look who the true friends of Israel and the Jewish nation are, and it's not the liberals. As actions speak louder than words.

2

 May 14, 2018 at 08:19 PM amerikaner Says:

anyone who votes for a DemocRAT in America is INSANE nowadays.

3

 May 14, 2018 at 08:24 PM Educated Archy Says:

Abi to oppose Trump.

The dems are not the reps of Jews any more

4

 May 14, 2018 at 08:25 PM stamnamefortrump Says:

Thank God for President Trump

5

 May 14, 2018 at 08:48 PM grandbear Says:

This isn't the party that my parents voted for.It is turning into a party that is going to look for the alienated and muslim voters ,in the near future.

6

 May 14, 2018 at 08:50 PM elyeh Says:

No matter what their heritage, their behavior, especially political actions, shows that at core many Democrats are soneh y'israel.

7

 May 14, 2018 at 09:18 PM Anonymous Says:

The Democrap party became a wing of NK USA

8

 May 14, 2018 at 09:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Cant you guys read? This was an Evangelist sonei yisroel ceremony.

9

 May 14, 2018 at 09:32 PM puppydogs Says:

So sad how the once mighty party has fallen.

10

 May 14, 2018 at 09:33 PM Just Wondering.... Says:

Well what did you expect from a party hijacked by liberals and self hating Jews?

11

 May 14, 2018 at 09:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Educated Archy Says:

Abi to oppose Trump.

The dems are not the reps of Jews any more

Abi to oppose the Evangelist Missionaries trying to convert Yiden r"l. Did you even bother to listen? Are you one of the many evangelist here? "Amerikaner? Grandbear? Archy? Not exactly are Yiddische nomen.

12

 May 14, 2018 at 09:57 PM Vivi Says:

Reply to #2  
amerikaner Says:

anyone who votes for a DemocRAT in America is INSANE nowadays.

Indeed, even if this was the only reason, no Jew should be supporting Democrats; and this is far from their only harmful anti Jewish, anti Israel act!

13

 May 14, 2018 at 10:00 PM Anonymous Says:

Indeed they’ve shown their true colors. Chucky Schumer pretended to be against the Iran deal when Obama pushed it through with his secret cargo plane shipment of $140billion in bribes, yet now he is against Trump pulling oUt of it! Democrats are phony to their core, they do only what they think will further themselves politically, never what’s best for America! Truly many Jew who supports them, much less votes for them, will have to answer for it.

14

 May 14, 2018 at 10:32 PM AH Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

Cant you guys read? This was an Evangelist sonei yisroel ceremony.

Really? Are you telling us that Rabbi Wolowik is an "Evangelist sonei yisroel"?!

15

 May 14, 2018 at 11:10 PM Hiymishclown Says:

Schumer and Gillibrand must be voted out!! They are a danger and an insult to Am Yisroel.

16

 May 14, 2018 at 11:11 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

Cant you guys read? This was an Evangelist sonei yisroel ceremony.

Fake news and lies

Evangelical are not Jew haters . Cut your bs .

17

 May 14, 2018 at 11:15 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

Abi to oppose the Evangelist Missionaries trying to convert Yiden r"l. Did you even bother to listen? Are you one of the many evangelist here? "Amerikaner? Grandbear? Archy? Not exactly are Yiddische nomen.

Narishkiten fake news .

They are not converting everyone . Sure they believe that when their messiah comes we will convert . It's only a belief and it's only when their messiah comes which is never . Furthermore, Jews blelieve when our messiah comes all nations will want to convert and many will die or will be our slaves Very similar .

Cut it out with your fear momgoring nonsense . How many Jewish evangelicals do you know exist in modern days .

Such stupidity

18

 May 14, 2018 at 11:16 PM Anonymous Says:

No sonei yisroel at all. I can pinpoint many soinei yisroelim that celebrated the embassy move and many that didn’t that are Kind to Jews. It was nothing but a mere symbolic Zionist propaganda 0 related to anything Jewishness.
They all stayed behind as the republicans wld have had it been vice versa. No ill intentions of anyone. There are Baptist Ministers there to lehavdil chareidim. All a mixed crowd of people.
This whole ceremony is NOTHING AFFILIATED WITH ANYTHING JEWISH.
G d has no nachas ruach that the embassy was moved. Its all political. Dont judge any participant or lack therof of loving or hating Jews. Its irrelevant. All for Bibis kuvid. He had everyone he needd and more and lewve our politcians alone. And btw, Im a true Trump supporter but this move was ill advised and didnt do service to a single Jew. On the contrary, more conflict more tension and unfortunately rising antisemitism. May
G d protect us all.

19

 May 15, 2018 at 07:54 AM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #18  
Anonymous Says:

No sonei yisroel at all. I can pinpoint many soinei yisroelim that celebrated the embassy move and many that didn’t that are Kind to Jews. It was nothing but a mere symbolic Zionist propaganda 0 related to anything Jewishness.
They all stayed behind as the republicans wld have had it been vice versa. No ill intentions of anyone. There are Baptist Ministers there to lehavdil chareidim. All a mixed crowd of people.
This whole ceremony is NOTHING AFFILIATED WITH ANYTHING JEWISH.
G d has no nachas ruach that the embassy was moved. Its all political. Dont judge any participant or lack therof of loving or hating Jews. Its irrelevant. All for Bibis kuvid. He had everyone he needd and more and lewve our politcians alone. And btw, Im a true Trump supporter but this move was ill advised and didnt do service to a single Jew. On the contrary, more conflict more tension and unfortunately rising antisemitism. May
G d protect us all.

I was with you as you started talking about the fact that it does nothing to advance yiddishkiet. And that's true it wasn't a Jewish ceremony per say . I agree with you on that .

But once you discuss the safety of Jews I disagree . The embassy keeps Jews safer . We need to invalidate the other side and pull out their rationale and excuse to the world for terror . Especially the Palestinians who play on world sympathy to kill us . Less sympathy means fewer killings in the long run . Of course in the short term they are more agitated and for that we need to Daven that Hashem save us from those animals in their time of anger . But once the dust settles they will be more isolated and loose steam . ( it's kind of like gaza . Hamas is so isolated and don't know what to do with themselves . The world couldn't care less about gaza and it's known Hamas is in the corner . They know that any more sucide bomb wlll just decimate them . That's why they have slowed down )

Of course we need to Daven a lot but the embassy keeps us Jews safer even though it's not a Jewish symbol

20

 May 15, 2018 at 07:55 AM Hoshomer Says:

Some things never change. The Party of slavery is once again showing how much hate they have for their fellow being.

21

 May 15, 2018 at 08:56 AM Shimon Says:

Reply to #5  
grandbear Says:

This isn't the party that my parents voted for.It is turning into a party that is going to look for the alienated and muslim voters ,in the near future.

Totally agree. A shame what a once proud political party has become.

22

 May 15, 2018 at 11:10 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Educated Archy Says:

I was with you as you started talking about the fact that it does nothing to advance yiddishkiet. And that's true it wasn't a Jewish ceremony per say . I agree with you on that .

But once you discuss the safety of Jews I disagree . The embassy keeps Jews safer . We need to invalidate the other side and pull out their rationale and excuse to the world for terror . Especially the Palestinians who play on world sympathy to kill us . Less sympathy means fewer killings in the long run . Of course in the short term they are more agitated and for that we need to Daven that Hashem save us from those animals in their time of anger . But once the dust settles they will be more isolated and loose steam . ( it's kind of like gaza . Hamas is so isolated and don't know what to do with themselves . The world couldn't care less about gaza and it's known Hamas is in the corner . They know that any more sucide bomb wlll just decimate them . That's why they have slowed down )

Of course we need to Daven a lot but the embassy keeps us Jews safer even though it's not a Jewish symbol

We need to daven for one thing; that Mashiach shld take us all out of this crappy galus. Nobodys safe. The region became all the more volatile. Dont kid u.

23

 May 15, 2018 at 11:30 AM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #22  
Anonymous Says:

We need to daven for one thing; that Mashiach shld take us all out of this crappy galus. Nobodys safe. The region became all the more volatile. Dont kid u.

Agree on first half

Disagree on second half the region has become more stable in Gaza as the pales are more isolated. But def moshiach is the ultimate goal.

24

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