In a “capital” snub, French and German ambassadors skipped the US embassy’s annual Independence Day celebration.
The French and German ambassadors to Israel boycotted the U.S. Embassy’s annual Independence Day celebration because the two European countries do not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Ynet reported on Tuesday.
French Amb. Eric Danon and German Amb. Dr. Susanne Wasum-Rainer reportedly opposed attending, saying the embassy building is located beyond the Green Line.
The celebration, held on July 7, was attended by British and Romanian envoys. The embassies of Canada, Australia, Guatemala, Honduras, Norway and Kosovo also sent representatives.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and other Israeli dignitaries attended as well. The prime minister gave brief remarks.
Currently, the U.S., Honduras, Guatemala and Kosovo are the only countries with embassies in Jerusalem, while Malawi and Equatorial Guinea announced plans to follow suit. All the other embassies are in the Tel Aviv area, though Turkey and a number of European countries maintain consulates or lower level missions in the capital.
The European Union and much of the world refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying the city’s status must be agreed upon in a final Israel-Palestinian peace settlement.
The Partition Plan of 1949 approved by the UN proposed to make Jerusalem an international zone, but in 1949, David Ben-Gurion unilaterally declared Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He argued that Israel was no longer bound by the Partition Plan because the UN made no effort to enforce it during the War of Independence.
Ynet said the French embassy did not respond to a request for comment, while the German embassy said that “our position on the issue of Jerusalem has not changed.”
The embassy did not hold a celebration last year because of the Covid pandemic.
President Joe Biden tapped Thomas Nides to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, but is awaiting Senate confirmation.
(World Israel News).