US senators present bill to obligate president to move embassy to Jerusalem

Three senators reintroduced legislation that recognizes Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel and relocates the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

US Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday reintroduced the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act, legislation that would fulfill America’s commitment to Israel to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.‎

The legislation, which was initially presented in 2011, recognizes Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel and relocates the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This bill removes the President’s waiver authority that has delayed this move until now, and requires official government documents to reflect this recognition by identifying Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that’s where America’s embassy belongs,” Rubio stated. “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.”

While on the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump stated his intention to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy and Relocation Act, which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. To date, each American president since Bill Clinton has signed a presidential waiver every six months in order to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv, citing concerns that a move to Jerusalem could hinder the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The bill withholds certain State Department funds until that relocation is complete.

Strengthening the Israel-US Bond

Heller stated that from his first days as senator, he has “prioritized the strengthening of the important relationship” shared between Israel and the US.

“For years, I’ve advocated for America’s need to reaffirm its support for one of our nation’s strongest allies by recognizing 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… [I] look forward to working with the new Administration to turn this bill into law.”

“Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel,” said Cruz. “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.”

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News