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House Republicans continue to fight US consulate for Palestinians

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A group of 23 House Republicans introduced a resolution on Thursday against US President Joe Biden’s proposal to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem to provide separate diplomatic services to Palestinians.

The initiative was spearheaded by Congressman Lee Zeldin, RN.Y., who is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus and one of two Jewish Republicans in Congress. The resolution came as Biden traveled to the Middle East.

“The Palestinian Authority has made it clear that its efforts for a diplomatic overture separate from the United States are intended to divide Jerusalem, which the Jerusalem Embassy Law of 1995 was designed to specifically prevent. The law states that Jerusalem must be recognized as the capital of Israel and remain undivided,” Zeldin said in a press release.

“The Biden administration’s proposal is a unilateral concession to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for no concessions in return, which has proven to be a failed policy time and time again. President Biden is traveling to Israel with the intention to uphold this flawed policy, which the Israeli government has expressly opposed, is a slap in the face to our nation’s most powerful ally and empowers bad actors in the region. Congress has a duty to do understand to the administration that its attempts to circumvent the law will not be ignored or tolerated.”

During his election campaign, Biden said he would reopen the US consulate, which then-US President Donald Trump closed when he made the decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. in 2018.

On Wednesday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration would like to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem, but made no commitment.

“Obviously this requires engagement with the Israeli government – ​​it also requires engagement with the Palestinian leadership,” Sullivan said.

House Republicans have long sought to thwart Biden administration plans to reopen the consulate.

In a letter to Biden on November 1, 2021, 200 House Republicans voiced their opposition to Biden’s proposal to reopen the consulate.

“House Republicans have come together to express our strong opposition to the Biden administration’s proposal to open a consulate general for Palestinians in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem,” the letter said.

“Having a US diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem would be inconsistent with the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which has become law and has been reaffirmed in recent years, with overwhelming bipartisan support. This law stated that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel and However, the shameful decision of the Biden administration would have the impermissible effect of undermining the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and signaling its support for the division of Jerusalem. Recently, the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister publicly stated that his reason for wanting to open this consulate is to divide Jerusalem.”

Then, on November 17, 2021, more than 100 House Republicans introduced the “Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 of 2021” to prohibit the use of funds for any diplomatic facility in Jerusalem other than the States Embassy. United in Israel.

“President Trump kept his promise to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there. Now President Biden is seeking to reopen a consulate general and provide separate diplomatic relations to the Palestinians. This violates the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which recognizes Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel,” House Republican Steve Scalise said at the time.

This article originally appeared on ALL ISRAEL NEWS and is republished with permission.