Zero Congressional Democrats Attending Embassy Dedication in Jerusalem


U.S. flag flies over the US consulate building complex in Jerusalem / Getty Images
May 14, 2018

As the United States Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem is dedicated on Monday, not one Congressional Democrat will be in attendance.

Several Republicans from both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be in attendance at the event. A couple of delegations of Congressional Republicans flew to Israel for the event, the Times of Israel reports.

"That is a sad, sad manifestation. I wish he’d have every member of Congress here," Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said blaming former President Barack Obama and his relationship with Israeli leadership for no Democrats attending.

"I don’t know why the Democrats will not be here, chose not to come. Every member of Congress had the option before them to come and be here," Cruz said. "There was no way on earth we could have inaugurated this embassy without my being here to celebrate it. It’s too important."

In addition to Cruz, three other Senate Republicans are present for the dedication.

Israel’s Channel 10 said that no Democrats were given invitations to attend the dedication, however, Cruz said that invitations were not necessary for the lawmakers to attend.

"None of us were invited," Cruz said, noting that his delegation came together when he asked fellow senators to join him in attending the opening of the embassy.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) told reporters that he personally invited Democrats to come to the dedication with the delegation of Republican senators.

"I would just assume that the Republicans who didn’t come had [scheduling] conflicts. But I am disappointed that not one Democrat came," Graham said. "What does that say? It’s not for me to tell you what that says. It hurts me. Because I work across the aisle on a regular basis. I think it was a mistake, because there’s too much going on in this region."

Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah) and Sen. Dean Heller (R., Nev.) are the other senators in attendance.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R., S.C.) led a group of 10 House Republicans to the embassy dedication.

Israeli reporter Ariel Kahane said Wilson opened the House delegation to all members but said Democratic leadership was blocking any Democrats from attending.

When President Donald Trump announced the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Democrats blasted the decision, despite past support for Jerusalem to be recognized as Israel's capital. The Democratic Party has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in each of its last four party platforms.

UPDATED 2:02 P.M.: An Israeli news outlet had reported that Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.) was part of the American delegation attending the dedication ceremony, but an aide to the congressman later confirmed to the Associated Press that he was not there.