The Chamber of Deputies, the parliament of the Czech Republic, has voted overwhelmingly to adopt a resolution declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel. (IPPFoundation Gold LTD Photo)
If the U.S. ever gets around to recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel, it won’t have been the first nation to do so.
The parliament in the Czech Republic celebrated Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) by approving a resolution that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It also called on the rest of the Czech government to follow suit.
“This is the correct, worthy and courageous decision that others should copy,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after receiving word of the vote. “The Czechs once gave us Czech rifles … this was the start of the struggle.”
The Chamber of Deputies’ resolution also stops all payments to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization “until the organization stops its anti-Israel bias.” It also approved a resolution condemning the “politicization of the Jerusalem issue,” by a nearly unanimous 112-2 vote.
Senate Resolution 167, which was introduced by Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. and is co-authored by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was introduced last week. It states:
Whereas each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital;
Whereas, since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the state of Israel;
Whereas the city of Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s President, Parliament, Supreme Court, and the site of numerous government ministries and social and cultural institutions;
Whereas the city of Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Judaism and is also considered a holy city by members of other religious faiths;
Whereas Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected as they have been by Israel since 1967;
Whereas, this year, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and reaffirm the congressional sentiment that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city;
Whereas every citizen of Israel should have the right to reside anywhere in the undivided city of Jerusalem;
Whereas the president and the secretary of state should publicly affirm as a matter of United States policy that Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of the State of Israel;
Whereas the President should immediately implement the provisions of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104–45) and begin the process of relocating the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem;
Whereas United States officials should refrain from any actions that contradict United States law on this subject; and
Whereas any official document of the United States Government which lists countries and their capital cities should identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that—
1. It should be the policy of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel both de jure and de facto; and
2. The United States Embassy should be relocated to Jerusalem.
House Concurrent Resolution 11 is a bipartisan bill that was introduced on Jan. 23 by Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. and Brad Sherman, D-Calif. It is virtually identical to SR 167, but both bills remain stalled in committee in their respective chambers.