Moving the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem: Challenges and Opportunities

Subcommittee on National Security
Subcommittee on National Security
Hearing Date: November 8, 2017 10:00 am 2154 Rayburn HOB

PURPOSE:
  • To discuss the benefits and challenges of relocating the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to the capital of Jerusalem.
BACKGROUND:
  • In each country worldwide, the United States embassy is located in their capital; however, the U.S. Embassy in Israel is located in Tel Aviv rather than Israel’s capital of Jerusalem.
  • Congress has consistently voted to support recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital. Through the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, Congress voted overwhelmingly to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem by requiring the withholding of State Department funds if the embassy is not moved. However, Presidents have exercised a national security waiver provision in the law to delay moving the embassy.
  • President Trump has promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem. On June 1, 2017, President Trump signed a six-month waiver to delay moving the embassy.
  • The second waiver deadline of the Trump Administration occurs on December 1, 2017.

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
The Honorable John Bolton Senior Fellow American Enterprise Institute Document
Ambassador Dore Gold President Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Document
Mr. Eugene Kontorovich Professor of Law Northwestern University Document
Mr. Morton Klein President Zionist Organization of America Document
Dr. Michael Koplow Policy Director Israel Policy Forum Document