WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today released the following statement in support of President Trump’s decision to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem:
“President Trump’s courageous decision to relocate America’s embassy to Jerusalem is long overdue. I supported bipartisan legislation to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in 1995 as a freshman member of the House of Representatives. I believe now what I did then: Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided home of the Jewish people. We should treat Israel like we do every other country and locate our embassy in its capital city.
“Concerns that moving the embassy will endanger negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians distract from the real and enduring threats to peace – the continued refusal to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist and the lingering hostility toward the Jewish state from Palestinian leadership and other groups around the world. A peace process that cannot withstand moving the location of America’s embassy was never serious in the first place.”
The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 requires the United States to establish its embassy in Jerusalem. Then-Congressman Wicker voted for the legislation, which passed 374-37 in the House of Representatives and 93-5 in the Senate. Currently, the U.S. embassy is located in Tel Aviv, and the United States does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – despite the fact that Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital since 1950.
The legislation includes a provision for a presidential waiver, which must be renewed every six months. Every U.S. president since President Bill Clinton has signed the waiver, keeping the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is home to several other embassies and is located about an hour outside the capital city of Jerusalem.
President Trump has instructed members of his administration to begin the process of moving the embassy to Jerusalem. The process is expected to take several years.