Cruz: Move the embassy to Jerusalem

Texas Senator speaks in honor of Jerusalem Day, reiterate support for formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's eternal capital.

Elad Benari ,

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday reiterated his steadfast support for moving the American embassy to Jerusalem and formally recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel.

Cruz’s remarks came in a speech on the Senate floor in honor of Jerusalem Day, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War

“I rise to mark a truly significant and momentous day. Starting this evening, millions around the world will celebrate Yom Yerushalayim, also known as Jerusalem Day. I am proud to join our close ally Israel and the Jewish people in celebrating this historic, 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem,” he said.

“Half a century ago, overcoming Arab armies intent on Israel’s destruction, the Israel Defense Forces liberated the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six Day War. They courageously and miraculously fought their way to the Temple Mount and Western Wall, the holiest sites in Judaism.”

“The commander of the paratroopers, Mordechai Gur — unable to contain his emotion — exclaimed through his wireless radio: ‘the Temple Mount is in our hands!’ The army rabbi blew the shofar and the eternal capital of Israel was reunited.”

“Mr. President - since coming under its sovereignty, Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East that shares our values of freedom, has protected people of all faiths in Jerusalem and ensured their access to holy sites so that they may worship freely. They have protected the rights of Jews, of Christians and of Muslims. This has occurred even while religious minorities are being targeted, persecuted and attacked throughout the Middle East, and religious and historical sites are being demolished today by radical Islamic terrorists,” continued Cruz.

He then stressed that “the historic connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and the land of Israel did not begin in 1967. These profound ties to Jerusalem have existed for thousands of years. They can be traced back and have been reaffirmed through numerous archaeological excavations such as those in the City of David.”

“It is long past time that America do something it should have done two decades ago: move the American embassy to Jerusalem and formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal and undivided capital,” said Cruz.

“There is no reason Israel should be treated any worse when they are such a reliable and unshakeable ally. We should honor the promise that Democratic presidents and Republican presidents have made for decades and move our embassy to Jerusalem,” he concluded.

“And so I stand today to express my solidarity with Israel and with the Jewish people during this major celebration. Now, more than ever, America stands strong with our unshakeable friend and ally the nation of Israel.”

Cruz is one of three Republican senators who earlier this year unveiled legislation that would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's official capital and move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

American presidents from both parties have long called for Jerusalem's status to be resolved by negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as part of a larger peace deal. But there has been persistent congressional support for moving the U.S. Embassy, most notably in 1995, when Congress passed a similar measure.

The 1995 measure allowed the President to exercise a waiver delaying the move. That waiver must be renewed every six months, which U.S. presidents have repeatedly done, with former President Barack Obama signing the latest waiver at the start of December.

President Donald Trump promised during his election campaign to move the Embassy to Jerusalem, though a senior White House official said last week that the President has decided not to immediately move the Embassy due to the fact that attempts to revive peace talks with the Palestinian Authority were making progress.