Ross Blasts UN General Assembly on Jerusalem Vote
U.S. should ignore vote that emboldens human rights violators, tin pot dictators, and corrupt governments
U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15), Senior Deputy Majority Whip, blasted the United Nations General Assembly vote condemning the U.S.’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel.
“The United Nations General Assembly has fallen back into its old habit of attacking Israel’s sovereignty, ignoring the right of the United States to handle its own diplomatic affairs, and providing a forum for human rights violators, tin pot dictators, and corrupt governments to distort the historical record,” said Rep. Ross. “The United States of America won’t be lectured on its own sovereign decisions by the same body that equated Zionism with racism, nor will the U.N. sway the President’s execution of a law passed in 1995 affirming that Jerusalem is the true capital of Israel. Not only is this resolution misguided, it is dangerous and could further embolden those who have threatened violence in retribution for our mere recognition of historical truth. I stand with Israel, I stand for Middle East peace, and against those, like Hamas and the PLO, who would seek to undermine it through hate and violence.”
Rep. Ross advocated for moving the embassy in early November during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security hearing, “Moving the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem: Challenges and Opportunities.” That exchange is available here:
Rep. Ross had also signed on to a letter urging President Trump to take this action. The letter text appears below:
Dear President Trump,
We applaud your administration for standing strong in defense of Israel, and we urge you to fulfill your promise of relocating the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the capital of Jerusalem as we approach the second waiver deadline of your administration under the Jerusalem Embassy Act on December 1, 2017.
As stated in a January 11, 2017, letter to you on this issue, relocating the embassy will strengthen the unique alliance between Israel and the United States and send a clear message to the world that we support Israel in recognizing Jerusalem as its eternal capital.
The House Oversight and Government Reform National Security Subcommittee recently held a hearing to discuss the benefits and challenges of relocating the embassy. The hearing facilitated a discussion that echoed strong support for the move.
When specifically asked on the appropriate time to relocate the embassy, the Honorable John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, responded: “the appropriate time to make the announcement is today...” Ambassador Bolton went on to say in his written testimony: “recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and relocating our Embassy there on incontestably Israeli sovereign territory would be sensible, prudent and efficient for the United States government… Now is in fact the ideal time to sweep this detritus aside, and initiate the long-overdue transfer.”
Ambassador Bolton also stated: “If the Middle East peace process is such a delicate snowflake that the location of the U.S. Embassy in Israel could melt it, one has to doubt how viable it is to begin with. This question calls for realism, not the overheated rhetoric that we have heard too often. Washington’s role as an honest broker in the peace process will not be enhanced or reduced in the slightest by moving its Embassy to Jerusalem. To say otherwise is to mistake pretext for actual cause.” We reiterate Ambassador Bolton’s emphasis on the United States’ role in the peace process and ask that you spearhead the effort by moving the embassy.
Mr. Eugene Kantorovich, a Professor of Law at Northwest University, noted in his written testimony: “One of the main reasons for the failure to reach a peace deal is the unspoken assumption that protracted and repeated Palestinian rejectionism costs them nothing diplomatically, while creating constraints for Israel. Moving the Embassy to Jerusalem… would break this deadlock and open the doors to progress.”
The upcoming deadline is the right time to enforce the Jerusalem Embassy Act. We are encouraged by the promise you made after the first waiver deadline of your administration in June 2017 – that it is a question of when, not if, you will choose to relocate the embassy – and we hope to see your promise fulfilled this December.
Thank you, again, for your strong leadership on matters related to Israel. We look forward to continuing to work with you on this particular issue.