Monday, June 5, 2017

U.S. Senate Unanimously Passes Bill Marking 50 Years Since Jerusalem Unification

Senate unanimously passes bill marking 50 years since Jerusalem reunification

The US Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Monday that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

Co-sponsored by 17 senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D), the text calls on the legislative body to recognize the half a century landmark since Israel captured the eastern part of the city during the 1967 Six Day War.
“Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected,” the resolution states, adding that “there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem for 3 millennia.”

It also says that “Jerusalem is a holy city and the home for people of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths” and advocates a two-state outcome based on direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
The bill’s passage was “applauded” by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and embraced the liberal advocacy group J Street.
J Street’s Vice President of Government Affairs Dylan Williams tweeted that the resolution affirmed “long-held US policy that Jerusalem’s status is to be decided by the parties in 2-state negotiations.”
Senators advanced this measure just after US President Donald Trump formally deferred — at least for now — his campaign pledge to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital.
The Senate Resolution “reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act” — the law mandating the move — and “calls upon the President and all United States officials to abide by its provisions.”
Schumer, the Democratic Senate leader and one of the most prominent Jewish members of Congress, released a statement introducing the measure that implored the US to recognize Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital.
“I am proud to sponsor this resolution, which reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that states Jerusalem should remain an undivided city and Israel’s capital – in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are celebrated, valued and protected,” he said.
“The resolution also affirms our longstanding policy to achieve peaceful coexistence via direct negotiations that achieve a two-state solution.”
Such language also runs in stark contrast to a UNESCO resolution last month — titled “Occupied Palestine” — that suggested Israel has no sovereign claim to Jerusalem.
The United States scolded that document. “Once again, the United States rejects the adoption of these anti-Israel resolutions at UNESCO,” a US official told The Times of Israel at the time. “Like other parts of the UN system, UNESCO is too often used as a vehicle by member states inclined to deride and delegitimize the State of Israel.”

No comments: