New York Rep. Lee Zeldin has introduced a concurrent resolution joined by 22 of his fellow House Republicans opposing President Joe Biden’s proposal to reopen a US consulate in Jerusalem for the Palestinians.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday that it is the administration’s position that it would like a consulate in east Jerusalem. “Obviously, that requires engagement with the Israeli government – it requires engagement with the Palestinian leadership as well,” he said.
The administration’s proposal “would violate the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and reward the Palestinian Authority, despite its continuing efforts to serve as an obstacle to peace in the region,” Zeldin said in a statement on Thursday.
“The Palestinian Authority has made it abundantly clear that its push for separate diplomatic outreach from the United States is for the purpose of dividing Jerusalem, which the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was crafted to specifically prevent. The law states that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel and remain undivided,” he said.
“The Biden Administration’s proposal is a unilateral concession to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for no concessions in return, which has been proven to be a failed policy time and again,” the NY representative said. “Congress has a duty to make it clear to the administration that its attempts to circumvent the law will not be ignored or tolerated.”
According to the resolution’s text, the Biden administration’s plan to open an American consulate in Jerusalem for outreach to Palestinians “could be viewed as a challenge to Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem and Jerusalem’s status as an undivided city.”
The statement emphasized that a plan to challenge that status of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty “has received bipartisan criticism among members of the Government of the United States and the Government of Israel. The Palestinian Authority has stated that the purpose of opening a United States consulate in Jerusalem for outreach to Palestinians is to divide the city; and the opening and maintenance of a new and unnecessary consulate in Jerusalem would require a substantial expenditure of American taxpayer funds.”