(April 19, 2018 / JNS) U.S. President Donald Trump issued effusive congratulations to Israel on the occasion of the country’s 70th anniversary, saying the United States has “no better friends anywhere,” and reiterating his pledge to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“Best wishes to Prime Minister @Netanyahu and all of the people of Israel on the 70th Anniversary of your Great Independence,” Trump tweeted on Israel’s Memorial Day on Wednesday, commemorated the day before Independence Day. “We have no better friends anywhere. Looking forward to moving our Embassy to Jerusalem next month!”
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence echoed Trump’s good wishes, tweeting: “Today we join our great ally Israel as they celebrate their 70th Anniversary of Independence. The miracle of Israel’s rebirth in her historic homeland is an inspiration to the world & the American people are proud to stand w/ Israel on this historic day and every day. #Israel70”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retweeted Trump’s message and replied: “Thank you, President Trump! We too have no better friend than America. We are greatly looking forward to your moving the embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.”
Trump’s announcement in December that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, and therefore move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, earned him widespread acclaim in Israel, while touching off a firestorm of controversy in the Palestinian Authority and among Palestinian supporters.
Since Trump’s announcement, P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas has publicly cursed Trump, saying he will not engage in any discussions with Israel in which the United States is a broker.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem is being planned for mid-May.