US Senators Push to Move American Embassy to Jerusalem

Senators Ted Cruz and Dean Heller introduced a bill which, if passed, would require moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. Unlike past bills however, this bill removes the President’s waiver authority that has delayed the embassy move until now.

Prime Minister Netanyahu (R) meets with Senator Ted Cruz recently at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. (Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced a new bill on Tuesday which, if passed, will finally correct a historic mistake and have the US embassy moved from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.

The proposed bill suggests that “it is the policy of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel, both de jure and de facto,” and “Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected as they have been by Israel since 1967.” Also, “every citizen of Israel should have the right to reside anywhere in the undivided city of Jerusalem.”

In 1995, Congress passed the “Jerusalem Embassy and Relocation Act,” which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. To date, a promise to move the embassy has not been fulfilled, due to opposition from the State Department and US presidents who have used their waiver authority, thus delaying implementation of the act.

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 peace process.

‘Undivided Capital of the State of Israel’

“It’s past time to recognize Israel’s historic capital both in word and deed,” Cruz declared.

Senator Heller. (Photo: Facebook)

“I am proud to join Senator Dean Heller in the introduction of the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2015 that 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 important action, and requires official government documents to reflect this recognition by identifying Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” Cruz stated.

“Over 20 years ago Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate. It is my hope that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle support this important bill. It is long past due for our government to finally and unequivocally recognize Israel’s historical capital both in word and deed,” Cruz added.

Heller stated that “as a strong supporter of Israel, I am pleased to introduce the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2015. This legislation further confirms America’s support for one of our strongest allies by recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. The United States must continue to stand beside Israel and this legislation honors promises our nation made years ago.”

Cruz and Heller introduced similar legislation in 2011 but failed with their bid. The Times of Israel estimates that the bill has a good chance of passing in both the Republican-controlled Senate and Congress but will face a veto by President Barack Obama.

By: United with Israel Staff

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