Less Than Half of Foreign Diplomats Accepts Invitation to U.S. Embassy Event in Jerusalem

Foreign ambassadors of nine states declined to attend, including Germany, Russia, Poland and Sweden

Road signs directing to the U.S. embassy are seen on a truck in Jerusalem on May 7, 2018.
THOMAS COEX/AFP

Some 30 out of the total 86 foreign ambassadors serving in Israel have accepted the Foreign Ministry’s invitation to the reception marking the U.S. embassy’s move to Jerusalem.

The event, which will take place on Sunday evening in Jerusalem, a day before the official relocation ceremony, will be attended by U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and other elected U.S. officials.

>> Everything you need to know about the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem >>

Three of the 30 ambassadors who accepted the invitation represent member states – Hungary, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria – of the European Union, which is leading a policy against the embassy's move. The representatives of Romania and Austria, which are seen as friendly to the Netanyahu government’s policy, have yet to respond to the invitation. Twelve states have declined the invitation, some for technical reasons and others on principle, such as Russia, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Mexico, Portugal, Australia, Poland and Sweden.

Haaretz reported this week that the Foreign Ministry did not invite most of the Knesset's opposition members to the reception. The report followed backbenchers’ discovery that they were not invited to the central event on Monday. All the cabinet members, Knesset committee chairs, members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee and the rest of the coalition members were invited to the event. But apart from opposition leader Isaac Herzog and opposition MKs from the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, no opposition MKs were invited, including Arab MKs.

Meretz chairwoman MK Tamar Zandberg stated she would not take part in the inauguration ceremony on Monday, to which party leaders were invited.