The U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and formally opened its embassy there today — fulfilling a campaign pledge of President Donald Trump and a stated goal of many politicians in both parties.
“Big day for Israel. Congratulations!” Trump tweeted this morning.
“Today is truly a historic day for America’s unbreakable alliance with the State of Israel,” said Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. “…The unequivocal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital comes after presidents in both parties stalled our embassy’s rightful relocation to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. So I truly appreciate the Trump Administration for implementing U.S. law and finally moving our embassy.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who’s in Jerusalem for the occasion, tweeted a picture of himself with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and declared himself “Proud to join @netanyahu to celebrate the U.S. Embassy being moved to Jerusalem, where it belongs. Today is a great day for Florida, Israel and the United States. FL will continue to stand with Israel.”
Republican Scott is running for U.S. Senate against three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who also tweeted his support for the embassy move — while adding that problems remain in the Middle East.
“Today we celebrate the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to its appropriate place in Jerusalem. But the hard work of helping bring about a secure and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians must go on,” Nelson said.
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, also tempered her expression of support for the move.
“Opening the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, symbolizes the enduring friendship between our nations,” said Frankel in a statement released by her office. “While I join Americans and Israelis in celebrating, I remain disappointed by the absence of a serious commitment to the two-state solution. Divorced from a broader peace process, relocation risks more violence between Israelis and Palestinians. I urge the Administration to put forward a plan with the goal of two states for two peoples, living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition.”
U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, a U.S. Army combat veteran who once volunteered with the Israeli Defense Forces, said the U.S. is “finally recognizing the truth by moving our embassy to the center of freedom in the Middle East and the capital of Israel, Jerusalem. I chose to volunteer alongside the IDF in Israel after serving in the Army because the United States and Israel share the common values of freedom and democracy. The Hamas-led terrorism erupting around the Middle East reaffirms that those who oppose Israel’s sovereignty are fueled by a murderous and hate-driven ideology in stark opposition to these values. Today’s move sends the clear message that the United States will support our allies and won’t tolerate affronts to human dignity.”
No congressional Democrats attended the ceremony in Jerusalem. But U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, said he would have gone.
“While I wasn’t there today, I would have loved to have participated in this historic and moving embassy dedication. Despite reaching out to the Administration, I was not invited to be a part of the official American delegation, but I look forward to visiting our embassy in Jerusalem next month,” Deutch said.