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Lankford, Hagerty Introduce Legislation to Protect US Embassy in Jerusalem

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), who led a group of 34 Republican senators, to introduce the Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021, a bill to protect the full and faithful implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and block the Biden Administration’s efforts to subvert the law.

“After decades of bipartisan support and empty promises from different administrations, President Trump rightly moved our US Embassy to Jerusalem, the true capital of our ally and friend Israel,” said Lankford. “Our bill ensures future administrations uphold the law by keeping our Embassy in Jerusalem and preventing other US consular posts from being established in Jerusalem. Biden’s intentions to ignore existing law and reopen a consulate for the Palestinians in Israel’s capital does not bring the region closer to peace; it only undermines our recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and weakens US leadership in facilitating a long-term solution to this conflict. The Trump Administration made historic strides towards peace in the Middle East. This administration should build on these historic achievements and take steps toward lasting peace in the region instead of moving us backwards.”

“President Biden continues to push forward his inflammatory plan to establish a second mission in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem—one for the Israelis and a second one for the Palestinians—despite the fact that this plan violates the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and is completely opposed by the Government of Israel,” Senator 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 Hizballah, 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.”

Under the Trump Administration, the United States fully implemented the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 by formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel on December 6, 2017, by moving the US Embassy to Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, and by closing the US Consulate General for the Palestinians and merging its functions into US Embassy in Jerusalem’s new Palestinian Affairs Unit (PAU) under the US Ambassador to Israel’s Chief of Mission authority. Prior to the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995’s full and faithful implementation, the US consulate for the Palestinians had previously operated completely outside of the US Ambassador to Israel’s Chief of Mission authority.

Joining Lankford and Hagerty in introducing the bill were Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), James Risch (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Rick Scott (R-FL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Todd Young (R-IN). 

Earlier this year, Lankford led a group of Republican senators to press Biden to uphold US law and refrain from reopening the Mission of the Palestinian Organization on US soil and the US Consulate in Jerusalem for the Palestinians. He cautioned Biden against doing so as it would violate terms in his Promoting Security and Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. He also introduced legislation to sanction enablers of Palestinian terrorist groups and sow chaos in the region.

Lankford continues to be one of the leading voices for Israel in the Senate. He commemorated the one year anniversary of the signing of the historic Abraham Accords under President Trump. He and Secretary Pompeo discussed the Trump Administration’s approach to securing the Abraham Accords and peace in the Middle East in an episode of Lankford’s podcast, The Breakdown with James Lankford. Following days of attacks on Israel by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, Lankford called on the Biden Administration to stand with our ally Israel. Lankford was joined by former US Ambassador to Israel on his podcast to discuss the conflict in the Middle East and the realities of the attacks on the Israeli people.