Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered powerful remarks at the opening ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Declaring that the state of Israel has “no better friends in the world,” the Prime Minister heaped praise upon President Trump for his move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and subsequently relocate the embassy from Tel-Aviv to the holy city.
“We have no better friends in the world. You stand for Israel and you stand for Jerusalem. Thank you,” Netanyahu bellowed. “Dear friends, what a glorious day. Remember this moment. This is history. President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history. All of us are deeply moved and grateful.”
Then, Netanyahu offered a few personal remarks.
“I spent the first three years of my life in this neighborhood,” the Prime Minister said, describing the traumatic experience of being a young child and having to be wary of sniper fire coming over the border. Appearing somewhat bewildered by the enormity of this moment, the PM declared “Today, the embassy of the most powerful nation on earth is here. Today, its embassy opened here!” which was met with rapturous applause.
“We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay,” he continued. Again, Netanyahu heaped praise upon the President.
“Thank you, president Trump, for having the courage to keep your promises,” he said. “Thank you for making the alliance between America and Israel stronger than ever.” A staunch advocate of an iron-clad Israeli state and a fierce opponent to Palestinian interest in Jerusalem, Netanyahu assured the assembled crowd that this was a day to move forward in peace.
“It’s a great day for peace,” he explained. “You can only build peace on truth. The truth is, Jerusalem has been and will always be the capital of the Jewish people and the capital of the Jewish state. May the opening of this embassy spread the truth far and wide.”
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“God bless the United States of America and God bless Jerusalem, the eternal undivided capital of Israel.”
U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, also credited Trump with the historic move. “So many have worked so hard and for so long. They all deserve our thanks. But make no mistake, today is attributed to President Donald J. Trump,” Friedman said in his opening remarks.
Texan Baptist pastor Rober Jeffress offered his prayers at the gathering:
“We come before you, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We see how Israel has been that blessing to the entire world. Israel has blessed this world by pointing us to you — the one true God through the message of the prophets, the scriptures and the Messiah,” he declared.
“As we come to dedicate this embassy in the cityt of Jerusalem, we want to thank you for the tremendous leadership of President Trump. Without his courage, we would not be here today. We thank you every day that you have given us a president who stands on the right side of history, and who stands on the right side of you, O God, when it comes to Israel.”
Esteemed Rabbi S. Zalman Wolowik then took to the podium: “Truth is not determined by popular opinion,” he said. “It is eternal. Truth stands the test of time. The Jewish people’s attachment to this Holy City has never waned nor faltered.”
Wolowik then thanked the United States for taking the lead in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“Today, friends, we celebrate the acknowledgment of this truth by a country that has been blessed by God with global influence. We pray that God almighty continue to bless the United States, her people and leaders. We pray that other countries would follow the US in affirming the Jewish people’s eternal bond with this city,” he said.
“Peace, shalom, is the inseparable sister of truth.”
Today, thanks to the leadership of @POTUS, we celebrate history in the making… the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel. America stands with Israel!
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 14, 2018
Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan then made a few remarks, stating that the embassy move is a “step toward advancing peace in this city and throughout the world.”
“I’m confident the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem will be a magnificent tribute to peace,” he said before adding that today was a “new day of bright hope and promise.”
Following Sullivan’s remarks, Trump himself was beamed in via a pre-recorded video.
“It’s been a long-time coming,” the President said. “Today, Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government. Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine its own capital, yet for many years we failed to acknowledge the obvious: the plain reality that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem.”
“Today we follow through on this recognition and open our embassy in the historic and sacred land of Jerusalem,” Trump said, adding that “our greatest hope is for peace.”
“The US remains fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement,” the President assured. “This city and its entire nation is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of its people.”
“We wish Ambassador Friedman good luck in this beautiful Jerusalem embassy, and we extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and all. May there be peace. May God bless this embassy.”
Following the Presidents remarks, his daughter Ivanka Trump then unveiled a plaque commemorating the historic occasion.
“We welcome you officially, and for the first time, to the embassy of the United States, here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” she said.
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“Jerusalem, who we never forgot, and who we never will forget. For 3,000 years the Jewish people kept their faith in Jerusalem. For 3,000 years, we have prayed for Jerusalem,” said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in his brief remarks.
“Jerusalem is a microcosm of community; Jews and Arabs living together,” he said, adding that the city is a testament to the fact that “all are equal.”
“We give thanks that we have arrived at this place and at this time. President Trump, the Israeli people thanks you for keeping your word, for your courage, for your determination and for your firm, unwavering stand for Israel. We hope and expect that other nations will follow your path and your leadership.”
“We will continue to safeguard Jerusalem as a city of peace, of all religion and communities, he concluded.
Finally, Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, one of President Trump’s senior advisors, offered some words on behalf of the administration.
“I am so proud to be here today in Jerusalem, the eternal heart of the Jewish people,” Kushner remarked. “When President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it. Today also demonstrates American leadership. We have shown the world that the US can be trusted. The United States will do what is right, and so we have.”
“The US stands with Israel because we both believe in freedom and human rights, he continued “We both believe that democracy is worth defending.”
“Those provoking violence are a part of the problem, not the solution,” said Jared Kushner, referencing the violent protests seen on Israel/Gaza border today. He added that the Trump administration is committed to a “lasting peace in the region.”
“I believe peace is within reach,” he concluded.