When former US president Donald Trump moved the American embassy to Jerusalem three years ago, he upheld a promise given decades earlier and fueled a vision of Israel’s capital as a world metropolis.
The hope was that once the US does it, other nations would follow and Jerusalemites would live in what once seemed a Messianic dream: a city filled with embassies, consulates and cultural centers hard at work building the best possible relations between the Jewish state and the nations of the earth.
Two new permits the city green-lighted recently – one an expansion of the current location on the slopes of Arnona to a five-floor building and the other a construction of a 10-floor building as part of a larger compound at northern Arnona (or Talpiot) on the corners of Hebron Road, Daniel Yanovski St. and Hanoch Albek St. – envision the US Embassy being an “anchor” that will transform the entire urban space around it into a diplomatic sector, Deputy Mayor for Foreign Relations, Economic Development and Tourism Fleur Hassan-Nahoum said.
She pointed out that the current plans have been deposited at the local council, the next stage will be to show them to the district committee, after which members of the pubic may present their objections.
When the US Embassy in London opened its new location in Nine Elms on the banks of the Thames four years ago, the impact of the $1b. project on the southwest district there was so big it merited its own term, “the embassy effect,” Hassan-Nahoum explained.
In her vision, once the complete US Embassy in Jerusalem opens its gates everything will improve. Facing Hebron Road, the planned American Embassy will be easily reached by foot for those using the nearby light-rail station, also meant to be operational by that time.