GOP Bill Tries to Block Jerusalem Consulate Reopening for Palestinians

In a strong effort to block Biden administration from opening a consulate serving Palestinians in Jerusalem, Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty introduced a bill on Tuesday along with 33 other Republican senators, The Jerusalem Post reports.

When former President Trump implemented the 1995 law and moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018, the consular mission was merged into the US Embassy to Israel.

Hagerty’s Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021 stems from the alleged Biden administration’s attempted subversion of 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act and is meant to ensure the full implementation of that law.

The new act quotes the “Jerusalem should remain an undivided city” provision of the 1995 law and calls for it to be recognized as the capital of Israel.  It act would add a prohibition against using funds for a US diplomatic facility in Jerusalem other than under the US Embassy to Israel by amending the Foreign Service Buildings Act.

Tennessee Senator underscored how regrettable is that Biden administration insists on moves that divide the US and Israel when they should be laser-focused on countering Iran’s regime and growing threats from Hezbollah, Hamas, and other Iran-backed terrorist groups.

Considering the fact that Republicans and Democrats are tied in the Senate, it’s the Vice President Kamala Harris vote that will be tie-breaking, making the chance of the bill passing slim.

Though President Biden pledged in his election campaign not to reverse Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he promised to reopen the consulate, which was historically in a building on Agron Street in downtown Jerusalem, to the Palestinians there.

Biden’s pledges were also confirmed by State Secretary Antony Blinken as well as by other US officials. have said they will reopen the consulate.

Speaking on Tuesday to the Army Radio, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said he does not think the consulate will be reopened and expressed hopes that Israel government and the diplomatic level will prevent the consulate’s establishment.

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