Measure Would Block Biden Plan to Reopen U.S. Consulate for the Palestinians

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) have joined in introducing legislation to protect the placement of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and to block Biden administration plans to establish a separate U.S. Consulate for the Palestinians.

The Mississippi lawmakers are original cosponsors of the Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021 (S.3063).  The bill would stop efforts by the Biden administration to subvert the full and faithful implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 by reopening separate consulate services for the Palestinians.

“Jerusalem is the capital and cultural center of the State of Israel, and U.S. policy should reflect that fact,” Wicker said.  “President Trump was right to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and I will continue to oppose any effort that would undermine U.S. diplomacy in Israel.”

“The United States must fulfill its legal and moral commitments to the Israeli people, which includes maintaining our embassy, including all diplomatic missions, in Jerusalem.  The Biden administration must not stray from the law as it reaches out to the leadership of the Palestinians, which is closely tied to Iran and terrorist organizations” Hyde-Smith said.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is the law that recognized an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and directed the location of the U.S. Embassy there by May 31, 1999.  The U.S. Embassy was only relocated to Jerusalem in 2018 after former President Donald Trump acted to fully implement the 1995 law.

Prior to implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, a U.S. consulate for the Palestinians operated completely outside of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel’s Chief of Mission authority.  President Trump placed those duties under the purview of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Introduced by U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), S.3063 would prohibit the use of federal funding “for the operation of a United States consulate or diplomatic facility in Jerusalem unless such consulate or diplomatic facility is under the supervision of the United States Ambassador to Israel.”