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US Senate approves motion calling for relocation of embassy to Jerusalem

Image of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel [Krokodyl/ Wikipedia]
US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel [Krokodyl/ Wikipedia]

The US Senate has passed with an overwhelming majority a motion calling for President Donald Trump to relocate America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, US media reports said on Tuesday.

A nonbinding motion was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the chamber’s top-ranking Democrat. It passed with bipartisan support of 90 to 0. The motion was part of measures that recognised the “reunification” of Jerusalem and considered it to be the eternal capital of Israel.

“It is very fitting that the Senate passed this resolution 50 years to the day of the start of the Six Day War,” Schumer said. “The semi-centennial of the reunification of Jerusalem [sic] is an important milestone for Israel and Jewish people across the globe, given that Jerusalem has been a focal point of Jewish life for thousands of years.”

#EmbassyMove

During his election campaign, Trump promised to make the embassy move, but on 1 June he signed an order to keep it in Tel Aviv. East Jerusalem is still recognised in international law and at the UN as occupied territory. Israel’s unilateral annexation in the aftermath of the 1967 war has never been recognised as legitimate by the rest of the world.

Read: Trump expected to delay US embassy move to Jerusalem

That has not stopped the Senate bending over to please the powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington. “While we know that Israel continues to face a number of threats, bipartisan passage of this resolution will serve as yet another indication of the United States’ commitment to standing by our Israeli friends,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Washington Examiner pointed out that a 1995 law called for the US president to move the embassy to Jerusalem by 31 May, 1999, or else issue a waiver every six months.

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