It’s too soon to say if there’s any actual hope for the two parties in Washington to actually be a bit more civil toward each other following the Alexandria shooting but the timing of this event is certainly curious in that regard. On Thursday, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (New York) joined together with one of the most conservative members of the chamber, Senator Ted Cruz (R – Texas) in a joint statement on foreign policy. Both gentlemen called for the official relocation of the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, cementing American recognition of that city as the eternal capital of Israel. (Free Beacon)
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) called on the Trump administration Thursday to resume plans to relocate the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Their demand comes two weeks after President Donald Trump signed an order putting those plans on hold to avoid driving Palestinians away from a peace agreement.
“Fifty years later, now is finally time to recognize Jerusalem as the one eternal and indivisible capital,” Cruz said at a luncheon hosted by the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center on Capitol Hill. “I believe it is long past time to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, where it belongs.”
The timing of this move wasn’t just coincidental with the shooting, but also with the passage of a bipartisan resolution recognizing Jerusalem as “the undivided capital of Israel” and reaffirming the President’s authority to move our embassy there when he or she determines that national security considerations allow for doing so.
As much as I’d like to see this as a sign that the two sides are playing a bit more nicely with each other, this actually isn’t a new position for Schumer. He’s way outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party when it comes to United States relations with Israel. He’s bucked his party in the past, including during the transition period following the last election. When Barack Obama was supporting an anti-Israeli measure in the United Nations demanding that Israel halt construction of settlements, Schumer was among those leading the charge in condemning the Obama administration’s actions. You can find plenty of other examples dating back over the years and this may be one factor as to why Chuck has never been seriously looked at as a possible presidential candidate for his party.
So it’s not that shocking to find Schumer and Cruz standing side by side on this particular issue. The real question is whether or not that spirit of comity will carry over to other issues where there is less agreement, but which could do with at least a bit less heated rhetoric.