On Monday, the Trump administration officially opened the US embassy in Jerusalem. It was a moment to cherish: an acknowledgment by the most powerful nation on the planet that Jerusalem was indeed Jewish, that it is the eternal capital of Israel, and that neither revisionist history nor sheer anti-Semitic malice can separate Jerusalem from her people.
Naturally, not one elected Democrat showed up.
On the surface, this decision makes little sense. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) signaled his excitement over the Trump administration’s decision: “In a long overdue move, we have moved our embassy to Jerusalem. Every nation should have the right to choose its capital. I sponsored legislation to do this two decades ago, and I applaud President Trump for doing it.” Back in 1995, Congress passed a law mandating the embassy move with bipartisan support; in the Senate, the bill passed 93-5. In June 2017, a bill reaffirming the principles of the 1995 vote passed 90-0 in the Senate.
Yet no Congressional Democrats showed up to the Jerusalem event. By contrast, a bevy of elected Republicans ranging from Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) showed up in Jerusalem to celebrate. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that he had invited Democrats to come along. “I am disappointed that not one Democrat came,” Graham stated. “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 the region.”
According to Israeli reporter Ariel Kahana, every member of Congress was invited to attend, but “people involved in the process blame the Democratic leadership of Congress.”
So why didn’t the Democrats show up?