Dangerous Developments in Congress on Embassy move to Jerusalem
Pressure is growing in Congress to force the Administration to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz) is proposing new legislation demanding that Clinton agree to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and taking away the President’s existing national security waiver authority to suspend such a move. Senator Daniel Moynihan (D-NY) has further proposed that the U.S. designate a Jerusalem hotel for ambassadorial functions while not physically moving the offices.
In 1995 Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act, which called for moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by May 31, 1999 or have the administration punished by a 50 percent reduction in the State Department’s construction and maintenance budget. However, this law included a national security waiver provision allowing the President to postpone the move if he determines that to be in the national security interest of the United States.
President Clinton and the State Department have been insisting that they intent to use the existing waiver and not move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is clearly occupied territory covered under U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, and Israel has no claim of sovereignty to it whatsoever. Israel’s claim of sovereignty over West Jerusalem is also called into serious question by international law, which is why almost all embassies in Israel are based in Tel Aviv. The European Union recently reiterated the widespread view that international law holds that all of Jerusalem, which U.N. Resolution 181 designated as an “international city,” constitutes a “corpus seperatum” or distinct body from the State of Israel.
Moreover, such a move would be highly provocative to Palestinians and all Arabs, and would be a significant blow to chances for a genuine and lasting peace in the region.
Please contact your Senators and Congressperson Please ask them not to support any move in Congress to force the provocative and illegal moving of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Ask them not to tamper with the President’s national security waiver and demand that the U.S. Embassy remain with the world’s other embassies to Israel in Tel Aviv.
You can telephone any member of Congress through the congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Please cc any correspondence to ADC.