Israel

Senate Unanimously Calls Jerusalem Israel’s “Undivided Capital” on Reunification Anniversary

The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s unification and reaffirming U.S. law calling for the city to “remain the undivided capital of Israel” by a vote of 90-0 on Monday.

The resolution was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – Ken.) and co-sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) as well as 43 other senators. It acknowledged that “for 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been Judaism’s holiest city and the focal point of Jewish religious devotion,” and that “there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem for 3 millennia.”

The resolution also noted that under Israeli rule, Jews, Muslims and Christians may all freely worship in Jerusalem, a situation that was impossible from 1948 to 1967, when portions of the city were under Jordanian rule “and Israeli citizens of all faiths as well as Jews of all nationalities were denied access to holy sites in eastern Jerusalem, including the Old City, in which the Western Wall is located.”

The resolution called for strengthening the “mutually beneficial” American-Israel alliance, praised Egypt and Jordan for making peace with Israel, reiterated “the longstanding, bipartisan policy of the United States government” to achieve a two-state solution through negotiations, and called on the president to abide by the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which calls on the U.S. to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and “states that Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.”

President Donald Trump signed a waiver last week to delay the move of the embassy for six months.

Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital in 1949, shortly after its independence. Its legislature, Supreme Court, and executive government offices are all located there, as are the president’s and prime minister’s official residences.

In Move the Embassy—for America’s Sake, which was published in the February 2017 issue of The Tower Magazine, Aaron Menenberg argued that by “using the Jerusalem Embassy Act to move the American embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Israeli sovereignty over the city, America would be making a profound statement that it recognizes the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and believes, based on all the evidence of history, that the world is a better place when the liberal values embraced by Israel govern the city. Such a move would restore America’s credibility as a moral leader and signal that it is not interested in cowing to illiberal falsehoods. Put another way, the decision to move America’s embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Israeli sovereignty would be the decision of a great and reasonable country seeking a better world for all.”

[Photo: soccerdhg / Flickr ]