Blumenthal: Jerusalem Is Israel's Capital, Congress Has Long Acknowledged This

December 5, 2017

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) declared Tuesday that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel but he questioned President Donald Trump’s timing in recognizing it.

Appearing on CNN’s "Situation Room," Blumenthal said Congress has long recognized the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. In June, the Senate reaffirmed a 1995 law saying that, and Blumenthal voted for it.

"Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and I've long supported acknowledging that simple fact, and so has Congress, repeatedly—in fact, as recently as earlier this year," Blumenthal said. "But there have to be meaningful negotiations to advance the progress of peace, and that includes secure borders for Israel and a two-state solution."

Congress’s law recognizing Jerusalem as the capital allows the president to sign a waiver to delay moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem on account of national security, which prior presidents have done. Despite voting in favor of the law as recently as June, Blumenthal said it may endanger peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians to move the embassy rather than delaying it once again.

"The question now really is one of timing, you just alluded to it," Blumenthal added. "Whether, in fact, the United States embassy is moved and how it's moved, and most important: Will the United States really pursue meaningful negotiation?"

The Democratic Party has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in each of its last four party platforms.