Republicans Oppose Biden Plan to Reopen Palestinian Consulate

YERUSHALAYIM -
Republican Senator Bill Hagerty of Tennessee. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Biden administration has run into active Republican opposition to its plan to reopen a consulate serving Palestinians in Yerushalayim, The Times of Israel said on Tuesday.

Senator Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, along with 33 other Republican senators, introduced a bill on Tuesday to thwart the move, which senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, have openly opposed.

The bill, titled The Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021, is meant to prevent what Hagerty regards as the Biden administration’s attempt to subvert the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which originally called for moving the embassy to Israel’s capital, which former president Donald Trump did, after a succession of presidents delayed the move.

Hagerty said: “It is regrettable that the Biden administration insists on making moves that divide the United States and Israel when our two nations should be laser-focused on stopping Iran’s terror-sponsoring regime from going nuclear, on countering growing threats from Hezbollah, Hamas, and other Iran-backed terrorist groups, and on strengthening and expanding the historic Abraham Accords that truly have increased peace in the Middle East.

“The Trump administration kept its promise to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish State, and Congress must do everything in our power to strengthen our posture,” he added.

The bill cites the 1995 law, which states, “Jerusalem should remain an undivided city,” and calls for it to be recognized as the capital of Israel and the relocation of the US Embassy.

The co-sponsors of Hagerty’s bill are: Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Mike Crapo (R-Indiana), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), James Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) and Todd Young (R-Indiana).