For all the fanfare the Trump administration has planned — and contrary to President Trump’s boasts — the new U.S. Embassy to be opened in Jerusalem on Monday will be a decidedly modest affair, and probably a temporary one.
The staff will number about 50 or 60, compared to 800 at the compound in Tel Aviv where the embassy has been for years — until Trump upended decades of international consensus to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Previous American policy called for the status of Jerusalem, which is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians, to be decided by a peace agreement between them.
The U.S. ambassador, David Friedman, said on Friday that he will continue to split his time between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He acknowledged that having a fully operational embassy in Jerusalem will take a long time. Government estimates have said it will be up to seven years.