The Rabbinical Alliance of America—Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis—opposes the reopening of the Palestinian Consulate in Jerusalem and calls on the Biden Administration not to take this drastic step.

Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, explained that “reopening  a new consulate in Jerusalem would be inconsistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and may promote the division of Jerusalem. The Act asserts that every country has a right to designate the capital of its choice, and that Israel has designated Jerusalem as its capital.”

On December 5, 1949, the Israeli Cabinet, meeting in Tel Aviv declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and on January 23, 1950, the First Knesset proclaimed that “Jerusalem was, and had always been, the capital of Israel.” Following the Six Day War on June 27, 1967, Israel extended its laws, jurisdiction, and administration to East Jerusalem and several nearby towns and villages, incorporating the area into the Jerusalem Municipality. In July 1980, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law as part of the country’s Basic Law, which designates the Jerusalem Municipality as the capital of the State of Israel.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and calls for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city. The act notes that “the city of Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the site of numerous government ministries and social and cultural institutions.” Jerusalem is the location of the spiritual center of Judaism. There has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem since biblical times, despite attempts to expel Jews from this holy city. Additionally, the Jerusalem Embassy Act stipulates that since the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, religious freedom has been guaranteed to all. If Israel loses sovereignty over Jerusalem, religious freedom may be severely limited, as sadly we see in other parts of the Middle East.

Although the Rabbinical Alliance of America appreciates President Biden’s commitment to the defense and security of Israel, the organization feels apprehensive that the reopening of the Palestinian Consulate in Jerusalem may divide Israel’s capital city and push any chances for peace with the Palestinians farther away. This break with diplomatic norms and violation of United States law risks damaging America’s special relationship with Israel. Israel deems all of Jerusalem its undivided capital and the Jewish community world over feels deeply that Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal and undivided capital.

Therefore, the Rabbinical Alliance of America calls upon all peace loving individuals of all faiths and religions to respectfully voice their opinion not to reopen the Palestinian Consulate in Jerusalem for the sake of history, peace and a productive future.