(November 18, 2021, Washington, DC) EMET offers our wholehearted support for House Republicans David Kustoff (TN-08), Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01), Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21) and Lee Zeldin (NY-01) for their introduction yesterday of the Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021 with 110 original co-sponsors.
EMET would also like to offer our overwhelming support and gratitude to Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) who recently introduced a companion bill in the Senate together with Mr. Risch, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Young, Mr. Cotton, Mrs. Blackburn, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Tillis, Ms. Lummis, Mr. Barrasso, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Sasse, Mrs. Hyde-Smith, Mr. Braun, Mr. Tuberville, Mr. Hawley, Mr. Scott of Florida, Mr. Wicker, Ms. Collins, Mr. Lee, Mr. Lankford, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Cramer, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Paul, Mr. Daines, Mrs. Capito, Mr. Hoeven, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Ernst, Mr. Toomey, Mr. Cassidy, Mrs. Fischer, and Mr. Grassley.
These bills are critical in light of the Biden administration’s proposal to open a consulate in eastern Jerusalem to serve the Palestinians, to which even some Democrats have objected. EMET calls upon these Democrats to show leadership in their party by signing on to their respective bills as well.
Opening a consulate in Jerusalem would violate the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, with which Congress only finally complied in 2017 when the previous administration recognized a unified Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The U.S. embassy was relocated to its rightful place in Jerusalem the following year. As Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid suggested, if America wants a consulate specifically to serve Palestinians, they should open one in Ramallah.
“President Biden must immediately abandon any plans to open this consulate and reaffirm America’s unambiguous support of an undivided Israeli capital in Jerusalem,” Stefanik said. “Not only is his decision destructive to the U.S.-Israel relationship and a misuse of taxpayer dollars, but it is inconsistent with U.S. law under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. Israel is an indispensable ally of the United States, and we must stand undivided with them.”
In support of the Congress members who introduced and sponsored this essential legislation, EMET has also circulated a petition against a Jerusalem consulate, which some 800 people have signed. EMET encourages anyone who has not already signed on to do so here in order to help pressure the Biden administration to proceed in compliance with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.
Said EMET Founder and President Sarah Stern, “This is not merely a symbolic act, but indicates a lack of respect for the democratically elected government of the state of Israel to be able to determine what’s in their capital city and an overall disregard of Israel’s national security interests.”
Continued Ms. Stern, “As the Jerusalem Embassy Law of 1995 unambiguously states, ‘Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every religious and ethnic group are protected,’ which is exactly the status of Jerusalem today. By opening up a separate consulate for the Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem, the Biden administration will be eroding the indivisibility of Jerusalem. This runs counter to both the letter and the spirit of what is already enshrined within American law would lead to further instability in an already volatile region of the world.”
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