Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish people for over 3000 years and is the united capital of the modern Jewish State of Israel. During his campaign, President Trump promised to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. CIPAC members were very disappointed when the President signed another waiver delaying this move for another six months, just as his last three predecessors had done. We believe that Congress should act to remove the waiver.

CIPAC urges Senators to cosponsor S.11 (Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act),  introduced by Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Ted Cruz (R-TX) Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tom Cotton (R-AR and James Inhofe (R-OK).

S.11 amends the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 to eliminate the President’s authority to waive certain funding limitations for Department of State acquisition and maintenance of buildings abroad until the US Embassy in Jerusalem has officially opened.  It further requires any official US document which lists countries and their capital cities to identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

CIPAC urges House Members to cosponsor H.R. 257 (Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel Act), introduced by Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY).

H.R. is the House counterpart to S.11 above.

The reasons given for not moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem are that it would interfere with the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, and that it would deny Muslims the opportunity to worship at their claimed holy site on the Temple Mount. This is nonsense.  When the Jordanian army illegally occupied eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until it was liberated in 1967, there was no peace even though Muslims had unrestricted access to the Temple Mount and all of the Old City of Jerusalem, including the site most holy to Jews, which Jews were forbidden to visit.  The real reason there is no peace is that Palestinian Arabs refuse to accept the existence of the Jewish State of Israel.

Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the Torah and other Jewish holy books.  Muslims claim Jerusalem as holy to them, yet Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran.  No Arab ruler other than Jordan’s King Hussein ever visited Jerusalem during the 1948-1967 period when Jordan ruled over the eastern part of the city.

Muslims pray facing Mecca while Jews all over the world pray facing Jerusalem.

The majority of people living in Jerusalem since the mid-1800s have been Jews.  The 1906 Baedekers travel guide stated that there were 60,000 people living in Jerusalem; 40,000 Jews, 13,000 Christians and only 7,000 Muslims.

Countries which are opposed to Israel have interpreted the US refusal to move its embassy to Jerusalem as a lack of legitimacy for Israel’s claim to the ancient city.  When President Trump recently visited Israel and prayed at the Western Wall, he was not permitted to be accompanied by Israeli President Netanyahu.  The US State Department said at the time that the Western Wall “is not part of Israel”!  This canard must be refuted.  Israel’s right to all of Jerusalem as its capital must be taken off the table in any negotiations with the PA.

The term “East Jerusalem” is now given to that part of Israel that was on the eastern side of the 1948 armistice line (the “Green Line”) that was occupied by the Jordanian Army.  The Green Line was never a boundary.  In fact, the western-most neighborhood in Jerusalem is in “East Jerusalem”.  The term “East Jerusalem” is an oxymoron.

When the eastern half of Jerusalem was occupied by the Jordanian army, from 1948 to 1967, the Western Wall of the Temple Mount was turned into a garbage dump, eastern Jerusalem was turned into a slum, 58 Jewish synagogues were dynamited and destroyed, the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was destroyed – its gravestones used for paving stones and latrines, over 70% of Jerusalem’s Christians were forced to flee the city due to Arab persecution, Jews were not permitted to visit or worship in eastern Jerusalem, including its holiest Jewish sites, and Christians’ ability to worship in Jerusalem was dramatically restricted.  In contrast, full religious freedom to worship in Israel is granted and guaranteed to all by the State of Israel.

United Jerusalem is the religious and historical capital of the Jewish people and the legal capital of the Jewish State of Israel.  It is the holiest city in the Jewish faith and the location of Judaism’s holiest places, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

Congress must enact S.11 (Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act) and H.R 257 (Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel Act) to ensure relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem without delay.