Senator Lankford Supports President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today applauded the President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, an action that Congress has supported for decades on a strong bipartisan basis:

“After more than two decades of bipartisan requests from Congress, I applaud the President’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the start of a long process to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. The Government of Israel officially resides in Jerusalem; ignoring the obvious physical location of the Israeli Knesset and the office of the Prime Minister in West Jerusalem does not bring the region closer to peace, it only placates those that want to destabilize the region. Israel is not the problem in the Middle East, it is part of the solution. Nothing about today’s announcement will impact America’s commitment to honor any solution which brings about peace resulting from direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. Israel is America’s closest friend in the Middle East and she is a solid partner in research, strategic defense, and freedom. We have a unique relationship and a special bond among nations.”

In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 with broad bipartisan support in the Senate by a 93-5 vote and in the House by a 374–37 vote. This law states that it is US policy that Jerusalem should remain an undivided city, that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel, and that the US Embassy in Israel should be located in Jerusalem. The Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, which also passed with bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate, urged the President to immediately begin relocating the Embassy to Jerusalem pursuant to the 1995 law. Most recently, on June 5 of this year, the Senate passed by a vote of 90-0 a resolution reaffirming the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and called upon the President to abide by its provisions.

Lankford visited Israel in August and March to meet with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other diplomats. On November 2, Lankford introduced a Senate resolution to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the public statement issued by Great Britain on November 2, 1917, during World War I, announcing support for the establishment of a nation for Jewish people. The resolution passed the House on November 18 and awaits a vote in the Senate.