The United States and Israel celebrated the one year anniversary of the U.S relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem at a ceremony hosted Tuesday by Jerusalem’s Friends of Zion Museum.
In his address, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the “indispensable alliance” with the United States and applauded the U.S. administration for its “historic” decision.
The Israeli premier also acknowledged rising tensions in the region, as intelligence indicates Iran and its proxies are planning to threaten U.S. forces and interests in the Middle East.
“It’s true we are united in our desire to stop Iranian aggression,” Netanyahu remarked. “Israel and all the countries of the region and all the countries who seek peace in the world should stand together with the United States against Iranian aggression.”
At the same time, Netanyahu explained, “There is a new efflorescence, a new renaissance of relations between us and many of our Arab neighbors, and many non-Arab Muslim countries.”
While the ceremony was underway, U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to celebrate the occasion.
“Today marks the one-year anniversary of the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel,” Trump wrote. “Our beautiful embassy stands as a proud reminder of our strong relationship with Israel, and of the importance of keeping a promise and standing for the truth,” the president added.
In his address, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman dismissed any connection between the embassy relocation and violent Hamas-orchestrated riots at the Gaza-Israeli border last year.
“Of course, there was violence that day in Gaza, but there had been violence a month before that in Gaza, and it had nothing to do with the opening of the embassy,” Friedman stressed. “It had to do with relations between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.”
The move, Friedman said, “recognized the unbreakable, historical and truthful connection between the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem.” He also noted that as of the beginning of March, the ambassador’s official residence is now at the historic consulate office on Agron Street in Jerusalem.
[Photo: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem / Wikimedia Commons]