WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today released the following statement after the Biden Administration confirmed it is moving the Palestinian Affairs Unit (PAU) out of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel’s chain of command and renaming it the “U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs”:
“Last year, I forced the Biden Administration to admit that the United States cannot open an official U.S. consulate for the Palestinians in Jerusalem without the consent of the Government of Israel, but the Administration now appears to be trying to create an unofficial U.S. consulate. I unequivocally oppose this plan for what appears to be a new unofficial U.S. diplomatic mission in Israel’s capital. This plan is inconsistent with the full and faithful implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and suggests that the Administration is once again trying to undermine America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal and undivided capital.”
In October, under questioning from Hagerty, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian McKeon told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States would “need to get the consent of the host government to open any diplomatic facility” in Jerusalem. The Government of Israel opposes the re-opening of a U.S. consulate for the Palestinians in Jerusalem after the consulate was closed and merged into the U.S. Embassy to Israel under the Trump Administration’s full and faithful implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.
Also in October, Hagerty introduced the Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021 (S.3063), a bill to protect the full and faithful implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and block the Biden Administration’s efforts to subvert that law. 41 senators have co-sponsored this legislation.