A trio of prominent U.S. senators introduced legislation Tuesday that would force the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Dean Heller of Nevada, and Ted Cruz of Texas put forth the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act on the opening day of the new Congress.
"Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel," said Cruz, who finished second to President-elect Donald Trump in the Republican presidential race. "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.
"But it is finally time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995: formally move our embassy to the capital of our great ally Israel."
In 1995, lawmakers passed the Jerusalem Embassy and Relocation Act, a piece of legislation that recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The U.S. embassy was to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem under the law, but that relocation never took place.
The new bill would withhold certain funding to the State Department until the move is complete.
"Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that's where America's embassy belongs," said Rubio, who also ran for president in the 2016 race.
Added Heller, "For years, I've advocated for America's need to reaffirm its support for one of our nation's strongest allies by recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. [This bill] honors an important promise America made more than two decades ago but has yet to fulfill."
Trump has promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem during his presidency.
Both Israel and Palestine want to claim the holy city of Jerusalem as their own.
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