Grassley joins Hagerty and Zeldin on a bicameral joint statement calling on the Biden administration to reverse its plan to circumvent US law and create an unofficial US consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem

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WASHINGTON —Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) joined more than 80 members of Congress to release a bicameral joint statement led by Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (RN.Y.-01), calling on the Biden administration to reverse its plan to erode the full and faithful implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act 1995 moving the Palestinian Affairs Unit (PAU) from the US ambassador to Israel’s hierarchical chain of command and renaming the PAU the “US Office of Palestinian Affairs” which would serve as the unofficial US consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem .

“It is alarming that the Biden administration has opened what amounts to a separate US diplomatic office for Palestinians in the Israeli capital. This decision is totally incompatible with the Jerusalem Embassy Act 1995 that Congress has repeatedly enacted and reaffirmed with overwhelming bipartisan support over the years.

“We strongly supported the Trump administration’s decision to fully and faithfully implement the Jerusalem Embassy Act 1995 formally recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel, moving the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and closing the United States Consulate General for Palestinians in Jerusalem and merging its functions with the “Palestinian Affairs Unit” of the US Embassy within a diplomatic mission under the authority of the US Ambassador to Israel. The Biden administration’s disregard for this law, however, undermines our nation’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and signals its support for the division of Jerusalem.

“Let there be no misunderstanding: this unprecedented arrangement – to transform the Palestinian Affairs Unit into a ‘US Office of Palestinian Affairs’ which will no longer report to the US Ambassador to Israel but will report directly of the State Department in Washington, DC, and to appoint a special envoy to the Palestinians – is an effort to open an unofficial and de facto US consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem. In fact, the Biden administration admits the move is one step closer to opening an official U.S. consulate, a plan it refuses to halt despite adamant opposition from the Israeli government and under -Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian McKeon. admission to the congress in October 2021 that the United States, under international law, “should obtain the consent of the host government to open any diplomatic facility”.

“The Biden administration’s decision is wrong and not the way America should treat Israel, one of our closest allies around the world. As sponsors of the Compliance with the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act of 2021 to withhold funding for a US consulate to Palestinians in the Israeli capital, we unequivocally oppose the Biden administration’s decision and will use every tool at our disposal to stop it at the 117th Congress and beyond.” , read the statement.

Alongside Grassley and Hagerty in the Senate, the statement was signed by Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Thom Tillis (RN.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John Hoeven (RN.D.), Tim Scott (RS.C.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Roger Marshall (R- Kan. ), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kevin Cramer (RN.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Todd Young (R-Ind. ), James Lankford (R-Okla.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Lindsey Graham (RS.C.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), James Inhofe ( R- Okla.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

Alongside Zeldin in the house, the statement was signed by David Kustoff (Tenn.-08), Steve Scalise (La.-01), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Robert Aderholt (Ala.-04), Rick W. Allen (Ga.-12), Brian Babin (Texas-36), Troy Balderson (Ohio-12), Jim Banks (Ind.-03), Andy Barr (Ky.-06), Gus Bilirakis (Fla.- 12), Mike Bost (Ill.-12), Ken Buck (Colo.-04), Ted Budd (NC-13), Madison Cawthorn (NC-11), Dan Crenshaw (Texas-02), Mario Diaz-Balart ( Fla.- 25), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Jake Ellzey (Texas-06), Chuck Fleischmann (Tenn.-03), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Mike Garcia (Calif.-25), Bob Good (Va. -05), Garret Graves (La.-06), H. Morgan Griffith (Va.-09), Glenn Grothman (Wis.-06), Michael Guest (Miss.-03), French Hill (Ark. -02), Bill Johnson (Ohio-06), Jim Jordan (Ohio-04), Young Kim (Calif.-39), Doug Lamborn (Colo.-05), Bob Latta (Ohio-05), Barry Loudermilk (Ga .-11 ), Nancy Mace (SC-01), Tom McClintock (Calif.-04), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa-02), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wa sh.-05), John Rose (Tenn.-06), Chip Roy (Texas-21), Maria Elvira Salazar (Fla.-27), Adrian Smith (Neb.-03), Chris Smith (NJ-04), Jason Smith (Mo.-08), Michelle Steel (Calif.-48), Greg Steube (Fla.-17), Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Tom Tiffany (Wis.-07), David Valadao (Calif.- 21), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Ann Wagner (Mo.-02), Jackie Walorski (Ind.-02), Dan Webster (Fla.-11), and Steve Womack (Ark.-03).

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