U.S. Rep. Ron DeSanits, R-Fla., rounded up more than 100 fellow members of Congress to send a letter to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
DeSantis’ effort won the support of some of the members of the Florida delegation including U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who chairs the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee. Other members of the Florida delegation who signed the letter were Republican U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Carlos Curbelo, Brian Mast and Ted Yoho.
“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people and the U.S. should maintain its embassy in Israel’s capital city,” DeSantis said on Wednesday. “For decades, the State Department has indulged the conceit that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel, even though the Jewish presence in Jerusalem goes back thousands of years. I encourage President Trump to send a message to the world that the United States stands with our friends in Israel by relocating our embassy to Jerusalem.”
DeSantis is not the only Florida Republican pushing the issue. Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., teamed up with former presidential primary rival U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., to bring out the “Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act" which would move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump has expressed his support for moving the embassy to Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that's where America's embassy belongs,” Rubio said on Tuesday. “It's time for Congress and the president-elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore U.S. law and delay our embassy's rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades.”
“Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel,” said Cruz. “Unfortunately, the Obama administration's vendetta against the Jewish state has been so vicious that to even utter this simple truth - let alone the reality that Jerusalem is the appropriate venue for the American embassy in Israel - is shocking in some circles. But it is finally time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995: formally move our embassy to the capital of our great ally Israel. I am pleased to co-sponsor this legislation with Senator Heller and Senator Rubio, and I look forward to working with the Trump administration to make this happen.”
Despite Congress passing a similar bill in 1995, the embassy still has not been moved. The bill from Rubio and the other senators would take some funds from the State Department until the embassy moves.