(JNS.org) Three leading Republican senators introduced legislation Tuesday that calls for relocating the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The proposed legislation initiated by U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) asserts the need to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the U.S. embassy there in an effort to "remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected, as they have been by Israel since 1967."
The Washington Free Beacon first reported Tuesday that the bill would freeze a significant portion of the U.S. State Department’s funding until the department completes the embassy’s move to Jerusalem.
In a statement, Cruz blasted the Obama administration’s “vendetta” against Israel during the last several years, adding that it is “finally time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995: formally move our embassy to the capital of our great ally Israel."
The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered that the U.S. embassy be moved there from Tel Aviv. But the law also allowed the president to delay the move for six-month periods for national security reasons. As such, every president since 1995 has refrained from ordering the move, citing security concerns. President-elect Donald Trump, however, made a campaign promise to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem after he takes office Jan. 20.
"Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that's where America's Embassy belongs," Rubio said in a statement. "It's time for Congress and the president-elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore U.S. law and delay our embassy's rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades."