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Notebook

Another Country Follows U.S. Lead, Opens Embassy in Jerusalem

For decades, our leaders have been promising to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Donald Trump was the latest to make such a promise, and last week he made good on his word. Now, it appears the President’s move has emboldened other world leaders, as another country moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City. 

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On Monday, the entrance to Jerusalem was lined with Paraguay’s flags as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined Paraguayan President Horacio Carters in opening the doors to the country’s new embassy. 

“This is a historic day that strengthens ties between Paraguay and Israel,” Cartes said at the ceremony.

Netanyahu echoed the sentiment: “A great day for Israel. A great day for Paraguay. A great day for our friendship.

“You have not only the support of our government but the profound gratitude of the people Israel,” the Prime Minister added.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon also tweeted out the good news.

Not everyone is celebrating, though. According to The Times of Israel, the move has caused some strife within Paraguay. Cartes, who assumed office in 2013, promised last month that he would make the change before the end of his term in August. Mario Abdo Benitez, the president-elect, however, said he was not consulted on the decision. 

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As anticipated, Palestinians were also angered by the move. 

Hanan Ashrawi, an official of the Palestine Liberation Organization released the following statement: “By adopting such a provocative and irresponsible measure that is in direct contravention of international law and consensus, Paraguay has conspired with Israel, the United States and Guatemala to entrench the military occupation and to seal the fate of occupied Jerusalem.”

The PLO better get ready for more of these “provocative and irresponsible” changes. 

As Nahshon and Ashrawi mention, Paraguay is the third country to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem. Guatemala was the second on Wednesday, although the move seemed to go largely unnoticed. A handful of other nations are reportedly considering making the move, including Honduras, the Czech Republic and Romania. They likely won't be the last. 

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