US Embassy in Jerusalem to open in May — in time for Israel’s 70th anniversary

The US Consulate in Jerusalem's Talpiot neighborhood, adjoining a possible site for the US Embassy (Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

The US Consulate in Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood, adjoining a possible site for the US Embassy (Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

Trump administration officials say Congress being briefed on plans; ribbon cutting could take place on May 14 — day of independence declaration

(SOURCE)   The new US Embassy in Jerusalem will open in May 2018 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring independence, two Trump administration officials said Friday. At first, the embassy will operate out of the US’s current consular premises in Arnona, south Jerusalem.

The officials said Congress was being notified of the impending move on Friday. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed off on the security plan for the new embassy on Thursday.

The State Department confirmed the timing of the move, with an official telling The Times of Israel: “We are planning to open the new US Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem in May. The Embassy opening will coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary.”

American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman attends the lobby for Israel-US relations at the Knesset on July 25, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The official said, “The Embassy will initially be located in Arnona [in south Jerusalem], on a compound that currently houses the consular operations of Consulate General Jerusalem. At least initially, it will consist of the Ambassador and a small team.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is being planned for mid-May. Israel proclaimed independence on May 14, 1948. According to Channel 10 and Hadashot news, the ceremony could be held on May 14 to honor that date. (Israel celebrates its anniversary of independence according to the Hebrew calendar; Independence Day — Yom Ha’Atzmaut — falls on April 19 this year.)

The May opening marks a significant acceleration. Vice President Mike Pence had said previously the embassy would open by the end of 2019. And Tillerson had said it could take years.

The date of the move is seen as largely symbolic, as the logistics of a permanent relocation are expected to take much longer. Most of the embassy staff could continue to operate from Tel Aviv during the early stages.

Staff at the consulate were told Friday that, as of mid-May, they would be considered employees of the embassy, Channel 10 reported.

In its initial phase, Ambassador David Friedman will move to the consular premises, Channel 10 said, and the building will be formally redesignated as the US Embassy.

Channel 10 quoted aides to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau saying he had not pressed for this accelerated process. The TV report noted, however, that a festive ribbon-cutting ceremony at a US embassy in Jerusalem in less than three months, as he battles corruption allegations, is well-timed from his perspective

The US will initially retrofit a small suite of offices in the facility to accommodate Friedman, and key aides, while Friedman will still also maintain an office at the current embassy in Tel Aviv, which would henceforth be considered a branch of the Jerusalem embassy, Channel 10 said. Jerusalem consular staff will continue to provide consular services such as issuing passports and visas at the building. (The US Consulate on Jerusalem’s Agron Street, which is responsible for Palestinian areas, will continue to function as before.)

The rest of the embassy staff will remain at first in America’s current facility in Tel Aviv. Over time, the Arnona facility will be expanded to accommodate more embassy personnel. The expansion could ultimately involve an adjacent property that currently houses a home for senior citizens. It will come under US control in the next few years under a previous arrangement, officials said.

Finally, a new purpose-built embassy will be planned and constructed.

Earlier Friday, four US officials told The Associated Press that the Trump administration was considering an offer from Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson to pay for at least part of the new embassy.

Lawyers at the State Department are looking into the legality of accepting private donations to cover some or all of the embassy costs, the administration officials said. The discussions are occurring as the new embassy clears its final bureaucratic hurdles.

In one possible scenario, the administration would solicit contributions not only from Adelson but potentially from other donors in the evangelical and American Jewish communities, too. One official said Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate and staunch supporter of Israel, had offered to pay the difference between the total cost — expected to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars — and what the administration is able to raise.

Under any circumstance, letting private citizens cover the costs of an official government building would mark a significant departure from historical US practice. In the Jerusalem case, it would add yet another layer of controversy to Trump’s politically charged decision to move the embassy, given Adelson’s longstanding affiliation with right-wing Israeli politics.

Since Trump’s announcement on December 6 that the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and planned to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, his administration has been sifting through options for fast-tracking the relocation. Last month, Pence announced during a visit to Israel that the embassy would move by the end of 2019 — possibly earlier. Ambassador Friedman, who lobbied for Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, has advocated moving the embassy as soon as possible.

12 thoughts on “US Embassy in Jerusalem to open in May — in time for Israel’s 70th anniversary

  1. Wow! I’m mean WOW!! 70 years later. I don’t know what to think. I believe this will leading to WAR. I’ve been praying for the RAPTURE for years. I’m 50 years old. This world is getting ugly and worse. By the way I’m assuming that you heard about Obama was bid for UN Secretary General?!! I don’t trust this man, Obama. I hope he fails the bid.

  2. Thanks for your comment Jim!

    This is prophetic Jim, the U.S. proclaiming Jerusalem the capital of Israel after 70 years. This is a prophetic number, the same number of years the Jews were held in captivity in Babylon, Daniels vision of 70 years, and the descendants of Jacob who went to Egypt were 70, there are more references to 70 in scripture. The Roman destruction of Jerusalem was the year 70 AD. None of this was by coincidence, neither is the U.S. proclaiming that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel or the moving of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem after 70 years as a reborn nation!

    I have not heard of Obama being bid for the UN Secretary General, however, it has been on my mind for years that it would happen. And doesn’t Obama seem to fit the bill for the Antichrist?! He has the same qualities as the Antichrist as spoken of in scripture.

    God bless! Maranatha!

  3. I don”t believe Obama is Antichrist, but I believe he is a demonic. He is a mystery man because nobody know about his school, college, and old jobs records. It was all sealed secretive. Why? No SSN have shown. I believe he was born in Kenya. Still to this day I believe he is not a American citizenship. Obama is in bed with One World Government.

  4. God blesses those who bless Israel!
    It’s amazing Gordon, that as soon as President Trump recognized and publicly/globally announces Jerusalem as the capitol, with the moving of the embassy. His policies which have been stalled, on tax reform, immigration, healthcare passes the senate. God means what He says and says what He means!

    This is prophetic as we move forward. We’re witnessing the stages leading up to His coming. Jesus told us not to worry but to look up when you see all these things happen. We’re in for some rougher waters ahead but Christ is our refuge in HIM we put our trust. We’re not to loose faith but be reassured. God bless, my friend.

  5. Thanks for your comment Jim!

    I don’t know if he is or he isn’t the Antichrist, however there are many eerie similarities between the two. For some strange reason Obama has attempted to hide his past, many things we know about and many we do not! Whatever the reasons are it is all leading to a One World Government headed by the Antichrist, the same path that Obama has led America down for years.

    God bless!

  6. What is bothering me is that Donald Trump have not arresting Hillary Clinton and Obama. I know Deep State are protecting Clinton and Obama. I’ve wondering sometime, if Obama wasn’t in the picture, would Hillary Clinton go to prison? When Obama appeared out of nowhere in 2008, NOBODY know who he was and where he came from? So my question is Obama protecting Hillary and himself, evil Obama from Trump Administration? I remember when he announced to run for the President in 2008 I’ve warned and warned many people do NOT be deceived by Obama and Nobody listened to me. Well, he nearly destroyed my country, USA for 8 years. Shame on Congress and some government agencies didn’t stop him. Surreal. Few days ago I’ve heard the rumor that Obama wants to run United Nation Secretary General. I’m not surprised. He is hungry for POWER. It was too bad here in America, many African Americans and Democrats like Obama. They weren’t wake up. Blind and idiots.

  7. I put together a lot of evidence pointing to the possibility Obama would prove to be the antichrist in a book a few years ago: Antichrist 2016-2019: Mystery Babylon, Barack Obama & the Islamic Caliphate. But the story of his alleged bid to become Secretary General of the UN is from 2016, and unless he suddenly reclaims the spotlight, it seems like Obama will, thank God, fade away from the world scene.

  8. Thanks for your comment Jim!

    Obama did appear out of nowhere, a nobody who became President of the United States literally over night. It was very obvious to me that he was no good, the evidence and hand writing were written all over the wall, but still, most of the country voted him in not just once, but twice! Our government is infiltrated with Obama holdouts, with progressives, all part of the deep state and their mind set, under their mind control.

    President Trump has done what most President’s have failed to do in the past, and that is to keep their campaign promises, all except for one or two so far, but they are not all of his fault. One, he did not prosecute Hilary Clinton like he said that he would, two, he has not yet done away with Obama care, however I believe our Congress is to blame for that one! With all of that said, I believe that President Trump has done more in his first year as sitting President than most of them have done in their entire four years in office.

    God bless!

  9. Thanks for your comment David Montaigne!

    There are certainly many similarities between Obama and the Antichrist, yet we will not know who the Antichrist really is until he is revealed by God. Obama may be out of the spotlight for the moment, but that does not mean that he is off of the scene.

    God bless! Maranatha!

  10. To tell you the truth, I’m not making it up. Summer 2012 I studied very hard on Bible Prophecy and end times and I love it. One night I had a dream that I was standing in the crowd and nobody see me but I see them, and as I was standing at the building, I’m not sure what exactly building I was in, So,everybody were cheering and applause and I was puzzled who are the people cheering for? I was standing in between 2 people and I saw 2 people were on the stage and I couldn’t see them and I was walking to the front, trying to get to the front row and who was this man, I saw a white man put the crown on the man’s head and I couldn’t see his face but I saw back of his neck, it was fairly dark color. I woke up and I was sweating. Honest to God, I was very scared. I prayed to God and ask for the Rapture. I was telling my Christian friends and asked them to help me understand my dream. They said that it was like Biblical dream and Antichrist. Bone Chilling. Since that dream, I never dream it again. Thanks God. True story.

  11. Thanks for sharing Jim!

    It won’t be long before the revealing of the Antichrist my friend, and if this is so then it couldn’t be much longer before the rapture of the church either! Stand firm in your faith of God, He is with us and will never forsake us. Our power is not of ourselves but from God above, from our Father in heaven, who can stand against Him?! We know that one day soon we will both be in heaven with God, face to face, living in a place that Jesus has prepared for us beforehand, how great will that be?!

    God bless! Maranatha!

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