Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Dean Heller sponsor new legislation, the “Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act” to relocate US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital.
• Sen. Marco Rubio: “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish State of Israel, and that’s where America’s Embassy belongs.”
By Yoni Hersch, News Agencies & Israel Hayom Staff
Three Republican senators on Tuesday introduced legislation that would move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a break from previous U.S. policy that would effectively recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The U.S. Embassy, like virtually all other foreign embassies in Israel, is located in Tel Aviv. During his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump pledged to move the embassy to Jerusalem, a promise his top aides have said he plans to fulfill after he takes office on Jan. 20.
According to Fox News, Senators Ted Cruz (Texas), Marco Rubio (Florida) and Dean Heller (Nevada) presented the “Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act” shortly after the 115th United States Congress was sworn in.
The move comes just 12 days after the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution calling for an end to the Judea and Samaria settlement enterprise and condemning it as an obstacle to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The resolution passed after the U.S. refrained from vetoing it, in a dramatic departure from past policy shielding Israel from such moves.
Republicans and Democrats alike leveled scathing criticism at the Obama administration over the move, believed to be the direct catalyst of the bill.
The proposed bill asserts the need to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the U.S. Embassy in an effort to “remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected, as they have been by Israel since 1967.”
In a statement released Tuesday, Cruz said, “Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel. 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.”
“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish State of Israel, and that’s where America’s Embassy belongs,” Rubio said in a statement. “It’s time for Congress and the president-elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore U.S. law and delay our embassy’s rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades.”
Heller said the bill “honors an important promise America made more than two decades ago but has yet to fulfill.”
Heller’s contribution to the bill, a chapter titled “Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance,” suggests restricting State Department funding in 2017 until the embassy is relocated, Fox News said.
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