The issue of whether or not to move the American Embassy in Tel Aviv to Israel has been a decades-long discussion that has come up for debate regularly every six months in the United States. But if a Congressional committee has its way, that process may finally come to an end. The committee heard testimony on Wednesday (November 8) the discuss the issue of moving the American Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Legislation was already passed in 1995 to mandate the move to Israel’s capital. But a loophole was careful inserted into the bill at the time to allow each president the option of delaying the move on the basis of “national security.”
This week’s hearing was held to review testimony on that point, and to determine whether in fact there is any reason — including that of national security — that the move should not be forced to go forward.
The House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, led by U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis (R-FL), heard testimony from Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and a number of others familiar with the situation in the Middle East.
Bolton said that he believes that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and relocating the embassy there “on incontestably Israeli sovereign territory would be sensible, prudent, and efficient for the United States government.”
Bolton contended that worldwide the U.S. Embassy in virtually every other country recognized by America, is [located] in the host country’s capital city.
“Relocating the Embassy would not adversely affect negotiations over Jerusalem’s final status or the broader Middle East peace process, nor would it impair our diplomatic relations among predominantly Arab or Muslim nations.
“In fact, by its honest recognition of reality, shifting the Embassy would have an overall positive impact on U.S. diplomatic efforts,” he said.