January 05 2017
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Unless you ask the United States or the majority of the United Nations’ member nations, in which case it isn’t.
Because of the significant disagreement over who gets to claim Jerusalem, most foreign embassies are located in Tel Aviv, the financial and technology hub of Israel. Both Israelis and Palestinians want Jerusalem as their capital, and the GOP is making a HUGE move to let the world know where the U.S. stands.
Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Dean Heller introduced the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act yesterday, according to the U.K. Daily Mail. The bill requires the U.S. to act on a 1995 proposal calling on the U.S. to relocate the diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The backlash was stunning and immediate: Palestinians and Muslims were absolutely furious. Palestinian leaders denounced the move as “the death of the two-state solution” for peace with Israel, according to CNN.
Here’s the backstory: The U.S. Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and directed our federal government to move its embassy there.
However, it also gave the president the right to opt out every six months in the interests of “national security” — an option that every president since has exercised like clockwork to avoid provoking the wrath of Palestinians and the liberals who often support them.
The new GOP bill would remove the opt-out provision and get the job done.
Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, said in a radio interview that moving the American embassy was a “very big priority” for Trump, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Trump made his intentions clear during the campaign, and it appeared he was gearing up to start delivering as soon as he takes office. All he has to do is fail to exercise the 6-month waiver.
This move to Jerusalem would signal a new era in U.S.- Israel relations after a very tense eight years with President Barack Obama’s administration, and would also have the potential to break Israel-Palestine peace negotiations out of their stalemate.
This incoming president is known for having the guts to speak the truth and deliver the goods. Let’s see if our new 115th Congress has the same.