President Trump’s call to honor Israel’s right to claim Jerusalem as its capital met with scowling disapproval around the globe and resulted in a meaningless UN resolution. After all, how dare we go against the grain and acknowledge the nation’s chosen capital? It’s not like we grant that special privilege to every other country in the world.
Well, for those of you worried about how Trump would make it happen, have no fear. Congress is here – and they’ve got two recently introduced bills to make Donald Trump’s promise come true.
H.R. 4718 – Moving the Embassy
Representative Ron DeSantis (R-FL) introduced the “Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel Act” December 21 – a bill with 29 Republican co-sponsors. That’s a far cry from a majority of the 435 seats, but given that the GOP has a 46 Representative lead on the Democrats, its chances in the House aren’t bad.
As one might expect, this act would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and require the moving of the U.S. Embassy. This idea – indeed, this law – is not new. Congress approved nearly the same bill back in 1995 – but President Clinton, and all those who came after – kept putting it off. This version requires that the Embassy move occurs before January 1, 2019, and requires the Secretary of State to investigate the cost of carrying this out no later than 30 days after the legislation’s enactment.
While the margin is much narrower in the Senate, the Republican majority and the approval of the 1995 version do make it look good for this one. And of course, the introduction is still fresh. It is entirely possible that some Democrats will support the bill – although those who argued loudly against Trump’s decision probably won’t.
H.R. 4707 – Protecting Our Interests
But what about all those terrorist organizations and Palestinians who are so enraged by this? Well, that’s where the “Procure PGMS For Israel Act” comes in. Though co-sponsored only by a single Republican, this bill was introduced by a Democrat – Representative Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania.
As a proposal to send more American weapons to Israel, this one might face more of a challenge. However, it would provide some welcome back-up to H.R. 4718 and the ensuing embassy move.
PGMS are precision-guided munitions and, in a nutshell, this authorizes the U.S. to give them to Israel. The bill lays out five simple findings:
- Hezbollah constitutes a major
- Israel uses precision-guided munitions to save civilian lives.
- Congress authorized the War Reserve Stockpile-Israel primary for use by United States Armed Forces to address regional contingencies.
- Israeli supplies of precision-guided munitions dwindled during the 2006 Lebanon War.
- Given the enhanced threat of Hezbollah to Israel, there is a need to ensure the War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel is sufficiently large to meet the threat while ensuring adequate supplies for the United States.
Boycott Israel Because…South Africa?
No doubt both pieces of legislation will face the ire of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. You know, because Israel is apartheid – or something. Apartheid, of course, refers specifically to the policy of racial segregation in South Africa from the late 1940s to the 1990s. So, either the entire movement is confused about the geographical location of Israel, or they just didn’t bother to learn what their favorite word actually means.
For Israel to be considered just as bad as, or worse, than South Africa’s former apartheid nature, they would have to strip the Arab citizens of their rights. While there is quite likely a good deal of racism going on over there, Muslims are entitled to vote, and in many cases, are allowed to volunteer or are even conscripted into the Israeli military – gaining them access to veteran benefits. The differences between Israel and apartheid South Africa are so stark that The New York Times ran a piece in March explicitly discrediting the claims.
It should be evident to anyone paying attention that our refusal to acknowledge Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel is the rare exception, as we don’t hold that policy with any other nation in the world. Of course, facts like that don’t matter to some folks – such as those who see a general Jewish distrust and, perhaps, even hatred in some cases for the Muslims who regularly terrorize the civilian population as being morally equivalent to apartheid.
It’s too early to tell yet how these bills will fare, but as always, Liberty Nation will keep you updated.
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