GOP battle to block reopening of Jerusalem consulate – the forward


Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State to Donald Trump, called on Congress to stop the Biden administration’s plan to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem to serve the Palestinians.

“There should be members on both sides of the political aisle who will see this as madness and a dangerous mistake,” Pompeo, who is a potential presidential candidate in 2024, said in a conference call with leaders. Christians and Jews on Wednesday. He called it “immoral” and “illegal”.

President Joe Biden pledged in his 2020 White House campaign that he would reopen the consulate, which closed after the US embassy moved to Jerusalem in 2018.

A group of 35 Republican senators on Tuesday introduced legislation that would block the administration’s plan. The bill would maintain the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act which recognizes Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, which they say prohibits allocating money for the proposed reopening of the consulate.

There is also a bill pending in the Knesset to prevent the move.

“The United States should not challenge Israeli sovereignty and should not take any action without Israel’s consent,” AIPAC said of the plan.

Pompeo said during the call – organized by the National Faith Advisory Board, a pro-Trump Republican faith-based coalition – that Republicans should add language to the omnibus spending bill to ensure the consulate does not reopen. not. This bill is due to be put to a vote in December. He suggested that the discussions on the reopening of the consulate create tensions and thus create “national security risks, certainly for the people of Israel, but also for the people of the United States”.

The move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018 has been a source of conflict between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian activists.

While the Israeli government has expressed its opposition to the move, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the first pro-Israel establishment lobby group in the United States, has not taken a position on the action of Congress. concerning the consulate.

“But we share his view that Jerusalem is and must always be the undivided capital of Israel,” Marshall Wittmann, spokesperson for AIPAC, said in an interview. “The United States should not challenge Israeli sovereignty and should not take any action without Israel’s consent. “

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