Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) made the following statement after President Donald John Trump announced that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate its embassy to the city:
“I believe that Jerusalem is and should remain the undivided capital of Israel. To deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem would be to deny world history. That being said, the manner in which the Trump Administration has announced its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is of great concern.
“In the context of peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the sensitivity of the status of Jerusalem cannot be overstated. The ramifications of this decision could be profound, and I fear that the President made his decision based on political expediency rather than sound foreign policy.
“The United States has long held that the final status of Jerusalem should be determined as part of an agreement negotiated between the State of Israel and the Palestinian leadership. The President’s announcement undercuts this position, as well as the role of the United States as an honest mediator of the conflict.
“This announcement puts the security of American embassies and consulates throughout the Arab world at risk. The United States should continue to support a two-state solution that provides for peace, security, and mutual recognition for both the Israeli and Palestinian people.
“Earlier this year, I introduced H.Res.393, a resolution supporting a concurrent track approach to the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process and commending those Arab states that have courageously improved their relations with Israel. I believe this is the best approach to move this process forward, while recognizing the rights of both the Israeli and Palestinian people.
“In light of the President’s decision, I call on his administration and the international community to re-engage in a serious diplomatic effort with the Government of Israel and the Palestinian leadership to advance the peace process, including a negotiated agreement on the final status of Jerusalem.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.