200 Republicans Sign Letter Opposing Biden’s Palestinian Consulate in Jerusalem


200 House Republicans, led by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), have signed a letter opposing President Joe Biden’s plan to put a consulate in Jerusalem to deal specifically with the Palestinians — a move opposed by Israel, and against international law. The Biden administration’s unilateral effort is an attempt to appease the Democrats’ anti-Israel wing, and to reverse President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which included moving the U.S. embassy there in 2018. Trump’s decision was pursuant to the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, for which then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) voted. But President Biden has sought to undo Trump’s legacy — even though his Jerusalem move led to the Abraham Accords, a successful peace agreement between Israel and several Arab states. The letter points out that Biden’s consulate would violate U.S. law and several subsequent resolutions affirming its purpose. It also argues that Biden would “create a misguided situation in which the U.S. would essentially have two separate diplomatic missions in Israel’s capital,” which would “reward and turn a blind eye to the Palestinian Authority engaging in the real obstacles to peace, such as refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State” and supporting terrorists. After 2018, a building in western Jerusalem that had been used as the U.S. consulate was converted into an annex of the embassy. The U.S. cannot make it a consulate again without Israel’s consent, under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which both the U.S. and Israel are parties, and which the U.S. Senate ratified unanimously in 1969. A State Department official admitted last week that the U.S. lacks the authority under international law to unilaterally declare a consulate.

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