Members of the US House of Representatives marked Jerusalem Day in the US Capitol, celebrating the reunification of the Israeli capital, on Wednesday.
The US officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 and moved its embassy the following year, but has not expressed a view on the city’s municipal borders.
US President Joe Biden visited Israel last year, and only visited Palestinian sites, without Israeli officials, in the parts of the city that were not under Israeli sovereignty prior to 1967. Israeli flags were removed from his limousine when he visited eastern Jerusalem. These moves were widely seen as signifying that he does not view the entire city as united or Israeli.
The Congressional Israeli Allies Caucus Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Brad Schneider, a member of Biden’s party, said that he is “proud to celebrate Jerusalem Day, marking the reunification of the city following the Six-Day War.
“Since 1948, Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel and for 3,000 years it has been the eternal capital of the Jewish people. The unbreakable, bipartisan bond between the United States and Israel has held fast since the US was the first country to recognize the nascent state and I pray it will never fray,” Schneider said.
The caucus’s other co-chair Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said that the “event is particularly significant this year as we celebrate Israel’s 75th birthday, it allows us all to commemorate the significance of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and reiterate our commitment to religious freedoms in the home of the world’s holiest sites.”
Minister of Intelligence Gila Gamliel spoke about her recent meeting in Jerusalem with the former Crown Prince of Iran Reza Pahlavi.
“I am honored to be here together with the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus to celebrate our capital, Jerusalem, on this historic occasion,” she said. “The prophets promised that Jerusalem would become a house of prayer for all nations and in today’s times we have seen that prophecy materialize. Over 2000 years ago, Cyrus, the King of Persia, or modern-day Iran, proclaimed that Jews had the right to return to Israel and rebuild their second temple in Jerusalem. Just recently, as a Minister of the State of Israel, I had the privilege to invite the son of the last Shah of Iran to visit the site of that very temple.”
Who is The Congressional Israel Allies Caucus?
The Congressional Israel Allies Caucus was founded under the auspices of the Israel Allies Foundation, which establishes caucuses for pro-Israel, faith-based diplomacy worldwide. The event was held in cooperation with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and American Christian Leaders for Israel, and featured eight members of Congress and over 250 Jewish and Christian leaders from across America.
Israel Allies Foundation US Director Jordanna McMilan highlighted the bipartisan attendance of the event and said that they “gather[ed] together to declare that Jerusalem is and always will be, the indivisible capital of the Jewish people and that the Judeo-Christian values that bind our nations together will not be broken.”
IAF President Josh Reinstein said “Faith-based diplomacy unites congressmen across the political divide on the basis of their shared values, which includes support for Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel.”