Senate marks 50 years of Jerusalem’s reunification


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Senate approved a non-binding resolution marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

The bill, sponsored by Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the majority leader, and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the minority leader, was approved 90-0 on Thursday evening, the precise anniversary of Israel’s capture of eastern Jerusalem in 1967.

It called on the president to abide by the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and calls for moving the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv.

President Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to move the embassy; however, last week – like every president before him since the law was passed – he claimed a waiver based on national security concerns.

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Notably, the resolution does not endorse a final status solution for the city, instead reaffirming “that it is long-standing U.S. bipartisan policy that the permanent status of Jerusalem remains a matter to be decided between the parties through final status negotiations towards a two-state solution.”

The sponsorship of a resolution by both parties’ leaders in the body is a rarity. “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 in a statement after the vote.

On Wednesday, the Israeli embassy in Washington is hosting an event in the Capitol marking the reunification. Lawmakers from both parties are expected to attend. A similar event will simultaneously take place, via simulcast, in Jerusalem.

Speakers will include Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, in Washington; and in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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