(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Knesset members have complained both publicly and privately in recent days that they have not been invited to the ceremony on May 14 inaugurating the new American Embassy in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be attending, as will key ministers. But the only MKs known to have received invitations are opposition leader Isaac Herzog and the two MKs born in the US: Michael Oren (Kulanu) and Yehudah Glick (Likud).
Zionist Union MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin wrote a letter to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman saying it is important for there to be a bipartisan group of MKs at the event.
“I was saddened to learn that a decision was taken to exclude Members of Knesset from this historical ceremony,” Nahmias-Verbin wrote. “As representatives of the public in Israel, I believe we should be there to pay gratitude for the long-lasting friendship and be witness to the unveiling of the new embassy. On this festive occasion, when the American Embassy becomes a part of the scenery of Jerusalem of gold, it would be appropriate for the entire Israeli society to be represented. It would be our honor, a privilege but also a duty as MKs to attend the inauguration of the embassy, a historic moment for the Jewish people just as much as the State of Israel.”
Her Zionist Union colleague Nachman Shai, who heads the Knesset Caucus for US-Israel Relations, also expressed outrage that he was not invited.
“The moving of the embassy is a historic event,” Shai said. “I am shocked that the US Embassy decided not to invite the MKs to the ceremony.”
Some 250 people are coming from the US to commemorate the move. The group will be led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and will include American Jewish and Christian leaders and some 40 members of the US Congress from both parties.
US Embassy spokeswoman Valerie O’Brian responded, “Due to space limitations we are unable to extend an invitation to as many people as we would like.”
She added that some parliamentarians had been invited but declined to specify how many.Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.
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