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Rubio, Cruz sponsor bill to move U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
Consistent with Trump's campaign position that it belongs there.
If they follow through, this would be almost as powerful a response to Obama, Kerry and the UN's Israel-haters as defunding and pulling out of the UN entirely - which is not to say the one should obviate the other. If you ask me, we should do both. But this appears to be the first serious attempt in Washington to have the location of our embassy reflect our official belief that Jerusalem is, in fact, Israel's rightful capital:
"Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that's where America's embassy belongs," Rubio said in a joint statement announcing the bill.
"It's time for Congress and the President-elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore US law and delay our embassy's rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades."
Cruz added: "Unfortunately, the Obama administration's vendetta against the Jewish state has been so vicious that to even utter this simple truth -- let alone the reality that Jerusalem is the appropriate venue for the American embassy in Israel -- is shocking in some circles."
The bill, called the "Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act," requires the US to act on a 1995 proposal calling on the US to relocate the diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv.
Since the 1995 bill's passage, every president -- both Republican and Democrat -- has waived the requirement of the move, citing national security considerations.
The 1995 act was a classic example of the U.S. contradicting word with deed. We established as official policy that our embassy belonged in Jerusalem, but in practice every president refused to implement the change out of the fear that it would inflame the Palestinians and the official Assembly of Anti-Semites that convenes in New York. It was a way of making our alignment with Israel a matter of official policy without having to do anything to prove that we mean it.
What Rubio, Cruz and Heller are saying now is that it's time to stop pretending and show that we mean what we say. And it couldn't come at a better time. With Obama having stuck a knife in Israel's back and the UN preparing to blacklist companies that do business in the West Bank, it's time for the United States to upset the status quo in Israel's favor.
Of course it would inflame the Palestinians. But if that doesn't inflame them, something else will. Israel is way past the point of offering one concession after another as part of the "peace process," only to have the Palestinians walk away and start new wars of agression. It's time to start taking some things away from Israel's enemies and see how they like it.
If we do that, of course, we have to be prepared to defend our actions both diplomatically and militarily. I see no reason we should have a problem with either. Besides, as aggressive as the world seems ready to get toward Israel, it's going to need further protection from the U.S. anyway - not that the IDF isn't extremely capable. Just ask the countries that attacked it in 1948 and 1967 how that turned out for them.
I suppose one could question Donald Trump's nerve to make a move like this. But one of the reasons we just elected Trump is that he, unlike conventional politicians, ought to have the nerve to get past the usual political calculations and actually do what needs to be done. This is one such situation. Let's stop talking about doing this and actually do it.
Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!