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PROVOCATION? Republican Senators Introduce New Bill to Move US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

21st Century Wire says…

Donald Trump’s campaign “promise” to move the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could trigger a series of events pushing the region back towards serious conflict.

trump-friedmanTrump’s appointment of right-wing Jewish bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman (image, left) as his ambassador to Israel is seen by many as an aggressive move to promote an ultra-Zionist agenda, as Friedman is a supporter of illegal Israeli settlement expansion in Palestine.

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem would be in direct violation of numerous other UN resolutions – 11 UN Security Council resolutions have ruled that Israel’s seizure of East Jerusalem is that of an occupied territory.

Hussein Ibish of Foreign Policy Magazine outlines some of the context of this issue in terms of US politics:

“Among the many alarming ways in which President-elect Donald Trump might upend traditional American foreign policy, one of the most immediate and troubling concerns his pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Other successful presidential candidates, most notably Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, made the same promise, only, once inaugurated, to emulate all of their predecessors by invoking the executive waiver to the 1995 Congressional Mandate to relocate the embassy.”

According to Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian official and peace negotiator, said that annexing settlements in the West Bank and moving the embassy to Jerusalem might mean the “destruction of the peace process as a whole.”

Naturally, bellicose Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu denied it would inflame any conflict, stating in December that is was “great step forward to peace.”

Middle East advocate Camille Mansour, told Al-Monitor that the US move would be devastating to relations between Palestinians and Israel, stating:

“It is a clear abandonment of the corpus-separatum issue, which Jerusalem has enjoyed since before 1947,” he said. A number of consulates were based in Jerusalem — US, Italian, English, Turkish, Spanish, French and Belgian — “based on this separate recognition of the city.”

NOTE: ‘Corpus-separatum’ refers to Jerusalem’s observed neutral legal and political status, closely related to that of an independent city-state.

This comes on the heals of the recent controversy over the recent UN Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlements. Apparently, the UN also followed up the settlement resolution with a plan to track activities of companies doing business in the illegally occupied West Bank.

Either way, this latest push by Republicans on behalf of Netanyahu and the Zionist Lobby seems to be a prelude to increased tensions in the Middle East…

donald-trump-israel
David Smith
The Guardian

Three Republican senators have introduced legislation to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, a plan backed by Donald Trump but likely to ignite fierce protests.

After being sworn into the 115th Congress in Washington, Ted Cruz of Texas, Dean Heller of Nevada and Marco Rubio of Florida unveiled the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act.

Similar moves by Republican majorities over the past two decades have come to nought, but this time they have a sympathetic president-elect in Trump. He has repeatedly pledged to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem and nominated a US ambassador who shares that view.

Critics warn that the move could unleash a wave of violence and further rattle the Israel-Palestine peace process and the future of a two-state solution.

Cruz, runner-up to Trump in the Republican presidential primary, said on Tuesday: “Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s vendetta against the Jewish state has been so vicious that to even utter this simple truth – let alone the reality that Jerusalem is the appropriate venue for the American embassy in Israel – is shocking in some circles.

[…] Rubio added: “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that’s where America’s embassy belongs. It’s time for Congress and the president-elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore US law and delay our embassy’s rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades.”

The US embassy has been located on Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Street for half a century. US state department policy has long held that the status of Jerusalem will only be determined in final talks between Israel and the Palestinians…

Continue this story at The Guardian

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