The United States has had an embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, for over a half century. But that may change if a new bill co-sponsored by Marco Rubio and a rival from his presidential campaign gets through Congress.
The Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act, filed Tuesday in the Senate and co-sponsored by Rubio, former 2016 presidential primary rival Ted Cruz, and Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller, would relocate the embassy to Jerusalem.
All three senators offered quotes along those lines, via a news release sent out from Rubio’s office.
“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that’s where America’s embassy belongs,” said Rubio. “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.”
Cruz noted that “the Obama administration’s vendetta against the Jewish state has been so vicious that to even utter this simple truth — let alone the reality that Jerusalem is the appropriate venue for the American embassy in Israel — is shocking in some circles. But it is finally time to cut through the doublespeak 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.”
Heller framed the legislation as a way for America to “reaffirm its support for one of our nation’s strongest allies by recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. It honors an important promise America made more than two decades ago but has yet to fulfill.”
With indications being that President-elect Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have a solid working relationship, this legislation provides an opportunity to affirm ties between the incoming administration and America’s most stalwart ally in the Middle East.