In Jerusalem on May 14, a ceremony will take place, dedicating the United States Embassy in its new location in Jerusalem, in the Consulate building in the Arnona neighborhood, which has been converted for this purpose. The date of the ceremony was set to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the declaration of independence of the State of Israel. A small diplomatic staff, including Ambassador David Friedman, will work in the Consulate building, which has been temporarily converted to serve as the Embassy until the completion of a new, permanent building. The fact that most of the Embassy’s work will continue to be carried out in Tel-Aviv does not diminish the symbolism nor the significance of the inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
On the day after the Embassy’s dedication, May 15, the Palestinians will mark 70 years since the Nakba (“Catastrophe”) that befell them in 1948, which will be accompanied by a large-scale demonstration along the border of the Gaza Strip and additional demonstration activities, some organized and some presumably spontaneous. The timing of the Embassy move is likely to heighten Palestinian demonstrations and increase violence on “Nakba Day” and the day after.
Read and Watch Professor Yitzhak Reiter briefly summarize the history of Jerusalem and its evolving international status, from the late 1940s until now. Reiter explains international response to these changes, including that of the United States, and the significance of the movement of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Finally, Professor Reiter explains the ramifications of the transfer of the American embassy on peace negotiations and why he believes it does not necessarily harm the peace process.