Three Republican senators just introduced a bill to relocate the USA embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that's in direct conflict with outgoing President Barack Obama's foreign policy in the region and could cause greater upheaval in the Middle East.
The effort is being spearheaded by Sens.
"Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that's where America's embassy belongs", Rubio stated. Unfortunately, the Obama administration's vendetta against the Jewish state has been so vicious that to even utter this simple truth...is shocking in some circles.
American Presidents, both Republican and Democrat, have used the State Department as cover for this issue. Ted Cruz and Dean Heller in proposing the bill, wrote in a statement, notes The Hill.
In 1995 Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy and Relocation Act, which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and declared that funding would only be appropriated for a new embassy there if it were to be built in Jerusalem.
Trump's pick for ambassador to Israel - David Friedman, a NY lawyer and Orthodox Jew - is another signal the President-elect is willing to upend decades of USA policy in the Middle East. However, every president since then has prevented it, often citing "national security concerns".
However, only the President is empowered to make the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital or to move an embassy from one city to another in any nation.
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The two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict recently defended in Kerry's speech provides for the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the two states, protecting and assuring freedom of access to the holy sites consistent with the established status quo.
Friedman has also argued that Israeli settlement construction in Palestinian areas shouldn't be illegal - a position that puts him at odds with the outgoing Obama administration and much of the global community.
Jerusalem is claimed by Israel as its "eternal united capital", but Palestinians claim Palestinian-majority East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
"The United States has historically opposed and vetoed U.N. resolutions that are one-sided and anti-Israel", Ross said on Tuesday. That said, the US Congress has no jurisdiction over Israeli or global law and so passage of this section, while controversial, would be mostly symbolic.
The US abstention was the culmination of eight years of simmering animosity between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The incoming Trump administration has promised sweeping changes in the existing relationship with Israel after taking office later this month.
Futterman, the Israel Program Director for the US -based Moriah Fund, noted that the Jewish nation shares "deep emotional, cultural and historical attachments to Jerusalem".