Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, were in Israel to commemorate the opening of the new U.S. embassy Monday. The reaction was deadly — during protests, the Israeli military killed more than 50 Palestinians who were protesting the decision. But Ivanka Trump opened the Jerusalem embassy without acknowledging the protests and controversy.
Last December, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the embassy there, setting off fierce debate and protests, as Palestine also claims Jerusalem as its capital. The U.S. embassy in Israel was long located in Tel Aviv, and for years, the United States stayed out of making a declarative statement on the Holy City.
Now, the United States has moved its ambassadors' offices from Tel Aviv to the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, which will temporarily act as the embassy location. This set off waves of violent protests not far from Jerusalem. According to The New York Times, the Israeli military has killed at least 50 people and injured more than 1,700 in the protests.
The ceremony took place on the 70th anniversary of the creation of Israel, only adding to the tension. So far, Ivanka Trump has not addressed the violence that has occurred as demonstrators protest her father's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Trump has kept busy since arriving in Israel on Sunday. She first met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and attended a welcome reception hosted by Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, for the U.S. delegation.
On Monday, the first daughter and Kushner arrived at the U.S. consulate in Arnona, an "upscale" Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem. The consulate will act as the new embassy for now. During the ceremony, Trump and Kushner sat with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife, Sara. They were also joined by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
Trump and Mnuchin later unveiled a plaque signifying the new embassy, with her father's name prominently displayed.
Before she headed to Jerusalem, Trump wrote on Twitter, "I am honored to join the delegation representing @POTUS, his Admin & the American people at this momentous ceremony commemorating the opening of our new US Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel. We will pray for the boundless potential of the US-Israel alliance & we will pray for peace."
After she landed, she tweeted thanks to the Netanyahus, writing, "Thank you Prime Minister @netanyahu & Mrs. Netanyahu for the warm welcome to Israel. I am honored to join you & the US Delegation in commemorating the dedication of our new @usembassyjlm & celebrating the friendship between our two countries. #USEmbassyJerusalem."
At the unveiling, Trump celebrated the opening of the new embassy and reiterated her father's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. She said, "We welcome you officially, and for the first time, to the embassy of the United States here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel."
And after the official embassy ceremony, Trump tweeted photos from the event and shared a quote from her husband:
Today we dedicated the new
#USEmbassyJerusalem, a longtime promise to the American & Israeli people. As Jared shared today "While many Presidents before him have backed down from their pledge... this President delivered. Because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it."
In fact, although Ivanka Trump stayed silent about the dozens of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli troops, Kushner did speak out to condemn the protesters. "Those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution," Kushner said. "We believe that it is possible for both sides to gain more than they give so that all people can live in peace, safe from danger, free from fear, and able to pursue their dreams."