Josh Ruebner, U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, 1 June 2017
Breaking news: Donald Trump has backed off one of his major campaign pledges and signed a waiver to the Jerusalem Embassy Act to keep the US Embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv for another six months.
For the time being, Trump is upholding a long-standing, bipartisan policy of not recognizing any nation’s claims to sovereignty in Jerusalem.
While Trump has realized that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem at this point would be a mistake, the Senate has other ideas.
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced S.Res.176, a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of what it terms Israel’s “reunification of Jerusalem.” And he’ll be bringing it up for a vote next Monday, June 5.
Not only does S.Res.176 call on the president to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. It also celebrates the fact that Israel has held East Jerusalem under military occupation for the past half-century and ignores Israel’s violations of international law—its construction of settlements and a wall, its expropriation of Palestinian property and demolition of Palestinian homes—there.
It makes patently false claims that all people enjoy freedom of worship in Jerusalem under Israeli administration when Palestinians from other parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip do not have the ability to pray at their holy sites in Jerusalem without a permit, which is often difficult or nearly impossible to obtain.
The resolution also fails to mention the separate-and-unequal status that Palestinian Jerusalemites face under Israel’s regime. Even though Israel annexed East Jerusalem, a move which even the United States refuses to recognize, Palestinian residents are not citizens of Israel and can’t vote for its parliament. Israel often regularly revokes Palestinians’ residency rights in the city as part of a plan to engineer a favorable demographic balance. And Palestinians face systematic discrimination from the municipality in the allocation of building permits and funds for schools, health care, sanitation and other services.
Click here to contact your Senators about this resolution (and your Representative about a similar one in the House which may also come up for a vote next week).
Learn more about why we oppose these resolutions in the talking points we sent to Capitol Hill earlier this week. And learn more why we think it would be a terrible mistake to move the US Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem in this policy paper we published earlier this year.
This is urgent! We can’t let the Senate vote on this resolution on Monday before our Senators hear an outcry from constituents like you who oppose Israel’s military occupation of East Jerusalem and the separate-and-unequal regime it has created in the city.