WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, the United States Senate passed a resolution unanimously calling for President Donald Trump to move the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.
“Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected,” Senate Resolution 176 (SR 176) states. It adds that “there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem for 3 millennia,” and notes that “Jerusalem is a holy city and the home for people of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths.”
The resolution was times to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem Unification Day which was celebrated on Tuesday, May 23, this year. The event followed the Six Day War of 1967 in which Israel fought against and defeated the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
SR 176 was sponsored by House Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). It “affirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104–45) as United States law, and calls upon the President and all United States officials to abide by its provisions.” It also calls for the U.S. embassy to be relocated to Jerusalem.
SR 176 passed 90-0. Ten senators did not vote. They include Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Sen. Robert “Bob” Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA).
Following the resolution’s introduction in May, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) issued a statement indicating his support:
I am proud to sponsor this resolution, which reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that states Jerusalem should remain an undivided city and Israel’s capital – in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are celebrated, valued and protected. This year’s Yom Yerushalayim celebrates the semi-centennial of the reunification of Jerusalem, an important milestone for Israel and Jewish people across the globe given that Jerusalem has been a focal point of Jewish life for thousands of years. The resolution also affirms our longstanding policy to achieve peaceful coexistence via direct negotiations that achieve a two-state solution.
Last week, the White House released a statement in response to President Trump’s decision to sign a six-month waiver to delay making a definitive announcement about the White House’s plans to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem in order to “maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians.”
The White House added, “But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.”
Past presidents have similarly signed waivers every six months.
While the move was disappointing to some of President Trump’s supporters and the Israeli government, the White House has consistently stated its commitment to ensuring the move eventually takes place.
According to Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak, “Arguably, the Palestinians have proven repeatedly they do not want a peace deal. They walked away from an agreement in 2000 that would have divided Jerusalem. To them, it is everything, or nothing.”
Last month, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a biased resolution against Israel where they claimed that Israel has no sovereign claim to Jerusalem, which is home to Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount.
Earlier this year, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley issued a scathing criticism of the UN Security Council (UNSC) over the international body’s “anti-Israel” bias. She stated, “I’m here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I’m here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel.”