‘SHOVE THIS in your mouth, international community.’.
(photo credit: COURTESY DAVID FRIEDMAN)
The “US Embassy” will move to Jerusalem on May 15 to coincide with Israel’s Independence Day this year.
That’s the message from Sam Spiegelmanberg, a new American immigrant who wants to overturn seven decades of US foreign policy in the Holy City.
Spiegelmanberg, in partnership with incoming US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Friedman, is the proprietor of the newly trademarked “US Embassy” brand and he hopes to open his first branch in Jerusalem at a snazzy new location on Jaffa Road. At first he hopes to serve classic American food, such as hamburgers, pizza, California rolls and burritos, but intends to expand to Asian fusion fare in the fall.
“The ‘US Embassy in Jerusalem’ is a great brand. It’s an epic topic of discussion and really the center of controversy. They say all publicity is good publicity,” says Spiegelmanberg, sitting at Cafe Hillel watching the light rail meander its way through throngs of people.
“Look at this city, fought over for thousands of years, and they say that many countries have threatened ignite new conflict if the embassy moves here, so I hope that by opening my US Embassy, I will create a real talk of the town.”
By trademarking and patenting the name “US Embassy,” he hopes to capitalize on what befell Yosemite National Park in the United States.
Spiegelmanberg, a former attorney from San Francisco, became familiar with a case in which local landmarks were trademarked inside the park.
The famous Ahwahnee Hotel, for instance, was trademarked as a concession and the park was then forced to change its name.
“Basically what we are doing is capitalizing on the fact that the ‘US Embassy in Jerusalem’ is a hot brand. I mean it combines the United States and the word ‘Embassy’ and the word ‘Jerusalem’ and when you put them together it creates real synergy. We didn’t discover Jerusalem, but we’re here to put our touch on it and of course to make money.”
But it’s not just about the money, he says. It’s also about doing what’s right for the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and history. “It’s an injustice that the embassy was never moved here. Now look at Trump, how he waffles on his promises. So if he won’t do it, then by God, I’m going to move the embassy myself.”
The Kingdom of Jordan did not respond to numerous demands for a comment.
However, a local man wondered whether the US Embassy in Jerusalem restaurant would serve hummus.
“It’s not American, is it?” asked Spiegelmanberg. “So, no, we won’t be having these foreign foods at our embassy.”