Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken confirmed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during his confirmation hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.
In his introductory remarks, Blinken, who is Jewish, spoke about his late stepfather’s escape from a concentration camp during the Holocaust and his rescue by an American G.I. – a testament of how the US should lead “not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”
At the end of the hearing, Senator James Risch (R-Idaho), the outgoing chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asked Blinken: Do you agree that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and do you commit that the United States will keep our embassy in Jerusalem?”
“Yes and yes,” Blinken responded.
Blinken also said in the course of the hearing that the Biden administration will oppose boycotts of Israel and continue to support the normalization deals that the Trump administration brokered between Israel and Arab states.
When asked about the US rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal – a deal that Blinken was heavily involved in shaping under Obama, he responded: “President-elect Biden is committed to the proposition that Iran will not be permitted to acquire a nuclear weapon.”
He added that the US will reenter the deal if Iran agrees to return to compliance but “having said that, I think we are a long way from there.”
Blinken also said that the US would consult with Israel on its policy regarding Iran.
“It’s also vitally important that we engage on the takeoff and not the landing with our allies and with our partners in the region to include Israel and to include the Gulf countries.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)