US-Israel Relationship

US Senate Okays Keeping Embassy In Jerusalem Permanently, In Vote Of 97 To 3


The US Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to keep the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, with only three senators voting against establishing funding to maintain the diplomatic mission.

In a move welcomed by Israel and bitterly opposed by the Palestinians, the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city in 2018. It was one of a string of diplomatic gifts delivered by former US president Donald Trump to Israel.

President Joe Biden is expected to take a more balanced approach toward Israel and the Palestinians, but he has said he does not plan on moving the embassy back to Tel Aviv.

The amendment approved by 97 senators effectively makes the embassy relocation permanent.

Only Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Tom Carper voted against the move.

Currently, the US embassy is hosted in the former consulate building in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Arnona until a permanent complex is built.

The plan to build a permanent embassy structure in Jerusalem was approved in 2019; in January, Jerusalem municipal authorities said they had given preliminary approval to a location for the permanent US embassy in the city. The location is on the city’s Hebron Road, a central thoroughfare, and not far from the current temporary embassy.

The site is near an invisible line that divides West and East Jerusalem, the part of the city captured by Israel from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War and claimed by the Palestinians for a future capital. It was not immediately clear if it crosses the boundary.

Read More: Times of Israel