Democrats to demand Biden halt plans for Palestinian consulate – report

“We succeeded in spurring senior members of Congress from the Democratic party who will not hesitate to express their opposition to the move,” said Ruth Lieberman, adviser for U.S.-Israel ties.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

U.S. congressmen from the “moderate wing of the Democratic party” are expected to tell President Joe Biden to stop his efforts to open a Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem, Israel Hayom reported Sunday.

The senior representatives, who said they wish to remain anonymous at this stage to increase their chances of success, reportedly revealed their intentions to Binyamin Regional Council Head Israel Gantz and adviser for U.S.-Israel ties Ruth Lieberman in a recent meeting.

“The members of Congress we met with understand the significance of opening the consulate – harm to Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and harm even to U.S. sovereignty as the transfer of the [U.S.] Embassy [to Jerusalem] at the time was in effect the declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” Gantz told Israel Hayom.

Lieberman said that the consulate issue is “not a partisan one.”

“We succeeded in spurring senior members of Congress from the Democratic party who will not hesitate to express their opposition to the move. They believe the opening of the consulate is a dangerous step for Jerusalem,” she said.

Gantz and Lieberman also met with 60 Republican members of Congress.

The Republicans have so far led the way in efforts to block the Biden administration from opening a separate consulate in Jerusalem for residents of the Palestinian Authority.

Last week, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) led a group of three dozen Republican senators in introducing the Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021, a bill designed to “protect the full and faithful implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and block the Biden Administration’s efforts to subvert the law.”

The bill failed to gain the support of the Democrats.

The U.S. State Department’s Brian McKeon confirmed last week that an American consulate cannot be opened in Jerusalem without the consent of Israel.

The consulate in Jerusalem was closed in March 2019 when it was merged with the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, which was established under President Donald Trump.