Some 200 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden blocking his administration’s plan to reopen the U.S. consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem.
In a letter, led by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and co-sponsored by 199 Republican members of the House, including House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the group argues that reopening the consulate to the Palestinians would “be inconsistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that became law, and was reaffirmed in recent years, with overwhelming bipartisan support.”
The Jerusalem Embassy Act calls for Jerusalem to be recognized as the capital of Israel and remain undivided.
Sources said the Trump administration fulfilled this law and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
As part of that move, the U.S. consulate to the Palestinians was merged into the U.S. embassy when it was relocated to Jerusalem in May 2018.
“The Biden administration’s shameful move would have the unconscionable effect of undermining the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and signal support for dividing Jerusalem,” the congressmen said in their letter.
“The Biden administration must immediately stop pushing this misguided effort. Moreover, the administration’s insistence is wrongly creating a rift between the United States and Israel—one of our closest and most important allies—and moves the region further away from peace,” the congressmen added.
As part of his campaign, Biden announced plans to reopen the consulate in Jerusalem as part of its larger effort to re-establish ties with the Palestinians that had largely been severed under the Trump administration.
However, Israeli leaders Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid opposed his plan saying it could create tension between Israel and Palestine.