Sens. Ted Cruz, Dean Heller and Marco Rubio have banded together and brought forward a bill to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a politically charged action that comes just after President Obama failed to veto a U.N. resolution that demands the Jewish nation stop building in settlement areas.
For 50 or so years, the U.S. Embassy to Israel has been located kin Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem.
The White House under Obama has maintained the preferences of the United Nations and Palestinians that Jerusalem is a contested property. But the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act introduced in the Senate makes clear the land belongs to Israel.
Cruz, in a statement, said it’s well past time for America to formally side with Israel on that point with the symbolic step.
“Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel,” Sen. Cruz said, in a statement reported by Townhall. “Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s vendetta against the Jewish state has been so vicious that to even utter this simple truth – let alone the reality that Jerusalem is the appropriate venue for the American embassy in Israel – is shocking in some circles. But it is finally time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995: formally move our embassy to the capital of our great ally Israel. I am pleased to co-sponsor this legislation with Senator Heller and Senator Rubio, and I look forward to working with the Trump administration to make this happen.”
The U.S. Embassy to Israel has been located on Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Street for the last 50 or so years. Why? The reasons are political: The State Department in the United States has taken the position that the fate of Jerusalem will only be decided after peace is solidified between Israel and the Palestinians.
Cruz’s statement and the senators’ legislation are not exactly surprising.
As Townhall noted, Congress in 1995 passed the “Jerusalem Embassy and Relocation Act,” which was supposed to have moved the U.S. embassy to the city. But here it is 2017, and the action has still not been taken.
A Trump administration could take speedy action on the plan. President-elect Donald Trump has publicly stated he thinks the U.S. embassy to Israel should be located in Jerusalem.
Critics say the action could open the doors to violent protests from Palestinians and others who want a two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.
But as Heller said: “For years, I’ve advocated for America’s need to reaffirm its support for one of our nation’s strongest allies by recognising Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. It honors an important promise America made more than two decades ago but has yet to fulfill. While administrations come and go, the lasting strength of our partnership with one of our strongest allies in the Middle East continues to endure.”
And from Rubio: “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that’s where America’s embassy belongs. It’s time for Congress and the president-elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore US law and delay our embassy’s rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades.”