United States Capitol building in Washington, DC..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Allies of Israel in the US House of Representatives submitted a bill Monday that would enable Congress to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on American documents.
The bill calls for moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. It also challenges the recent Supreme Court decision that prevents Jerusalem, Israel from being written on the passport of a child born in the city.
The bipartisan resolution was initiated by Congressional Israel Allies Caucus members Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) and Gene Green (D-Texas) and co-sponsored by 23 other congressmen.
“Expressing the sense of Congress that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and therefore, consistent with the location of other United States embassies, the United States embassy in Israel should be located in Jerusalem,” the resolution says.
The resolution is the first assertion of congressional support for American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel since the Zivotofsky v. Kerry Supreme Court decision last month.
“The Zivotofsky decision removes all ambiguity,” said Israel Allies Foundation Director of US Operations E.J. Kimball. “It is the president’s responsibility to heed 20 years of repeated congressional action expressing the will of the American people to recognize what has been reality for over 3,000 years, that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people.
I am very thankful to the members of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus for making sure the issue is not ignored.”
Presidents commonly invoke a national security rationale for waiving the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that mandates recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the movement of the embassy to Jerusalem.
“It’s a very sad irony that in today’s Middle East where governments oppress their citizens based on religious beliefs, the one country upholding Western standards of religious freedom is the only one whose declared capital is not recognized by the international community,” Kimball said.
Knesset Christian Allies Caucus director Josh Reinstein said that “spiritually, politically and legally Jerusalem is the undivided capital of the State of Israel.” He said he appreciates the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus for their bipartisan recognition of that fact.
The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus will be formed again in the new Knesset in a ceremony on Wednesday.
The caucus, which was headed by the late Yisrael Beytenu MK David Rotem in the previous Knesset, will be led by Yisrael Beytenu MK Robert Ilatov.