Legislation would block Biden administration’s plan to reopen a U.S. consulate for the Palestinians that divides Jerusalem
Oct 28 2021
WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) to introduce the Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021, a bill 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.
“Israel is our most reliable ally in the Middle East and our relationship is stronger today because of President Trump’s decision to move our embassy to Jerusalem in accordance with existing U.S. law,” Boozman said. “The Biden administration should not undermine the goodwill and solidarity between our nations by moving to establish a consulate the Israeli government opposes. I’m pleased to join Senator Hagerty and our colleagues to ensure our relationship with Israel remains secure and focused on our mutual interests.”
“President Biden continues to push forward his inflammatory plan to establish a second mission in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem—one for the Israelis and a second one for the Palestinians—despite the fact that this plan violates the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and is completely opposed by the Government of Israel,” said Hagerty. “It is regrettable that the Biden Administration insists on making moves that divide the United States and Israel when our two nations should be laser-focused on stopping Iran’s terror-sponsoring regime from going nuclear, on countering growing threats from Hizballah, Hamas, and other Iran-backed terrorist groups, and on strengthening and expanding the historic Abraham Accords that truly have increased peace in the Middle East. The Trump Administration kept its promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish State, and Congress must do everything in our power to strengthen our posture.”
Under the Trump administration, the United States fully implemented the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 by formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel on December 6, 2017, by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, and by closing the U.S. Consulate General for the Palestinians and merging its functions into the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem’s new Palestinian Affairs Unit (PAU) under the U.S. Ambassador to Israel’s Chief of Mission authority. Prior to the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995’s full and faithful implementation, the U.S. consulate for the Palestinians had previously operated completely outside of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel’s Chief of Mission authority.
In June, Boozman joined a group of Republican colleagues led by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to press the Biden administration to adhere to U.S. law and refrain from reopening the Mission of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem for the Palestinians.
In February, the White House confirmed the United States still recognizes Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and intends to maintain the American Embassy in the city.
Original co-sponsors of the Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021 include Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), James Inhofe (R-OK), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), James Risch (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Rick Scott (R-FL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Todd Young (R-IN).