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Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is expected to lead the United States' delegation to the inauguration ceremony of the new American embassy in Jerusalem on May 14th, Israeli officials told me.

The big picture: The Israeli Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister's office have started to prepare for the embassy event and for welcoming the delegation. The officials added the Israeli government wants to use the event to give diplomatic boost to U.S.-Israeli relations and to the Israeli efforts to convince other countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem. On May 16th, Guatemala is expected to move its embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.

Who's coming: The officials said that, according to the information received at the Foreign Ministry and prime minister's office, another interesting member of the U.S. delegation will be President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who also heads the U.S. "peace team" to the Middle East. While Israeli officials believe that Ivanka Trump will also be there, Axios' Jonathan Swan says that her attendance is not yet guaranteed. Rapahel Ahren reported last week in the Times of Israel that the couple was considering participating in the embassy opening.

  • According to the Israeli officials, around 250 guests will travel from the U.S. to the embassy's inauguration. They will include around 40 senators and members of the House of Representatives. Other members of the delegation will include Jason Greenblatt, the U.S. special envoy for the peace process, and the heads of Jewish organizations and pro-Israel evangelist organizations.
  • The White House and Treasury Department didn't respond to questions on the issue, and U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman also refrained from commenting.  

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Top general: U.S. losing time to deter China

Stanley McChrystal. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Stanley McChrystal, a top retired general and Biden adviser, tells Axios that "China's military capacity has risen much faster than people appreciate," and the U.S. is running out of time to counterbalance that in Asia and prevent a scenario such as it seizing Taiwan.

Why it matters: McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently briefed the president-elect as part of his cabinet of diplomatic and national security advisers. President-elect Joe Biden is considering which Trump- or Obama-era approaches to keep or discard, and what new strategies to pursue.

Progressives shift focus from Biden's Cabinet to his policy agenda

Joe Biden giving remarks in Wilmington, Del., last month. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Some progressives tell Axios they believe the window for influencing President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet selections has closed, and they’re shifting focus to policy — hoping to shape Biden's agenda even before he’s sworn in.

Why it matters: The left wing of the party often draws attention for its protests, petitions and tweets, but this deliberate move reflects a determination to move beyond some fights they won't win to engage with Biden strategically, and over the long term.

Dave Lawler, author of World
8 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.