Help Block Pending Legislation on Jerusalem in Congress
ADC Action Alert:
Help Block Pending Legislation on Jerusalem in Congress
Current efforts by several members of Congress to introduce legislation through which the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This would violate numerous UN Security Council resolutions and severely prejudice the final status negotiations which have just begun between Israel and the Palestinians. A letter is circulating in Congress which criticizes the President for exercising his national security waiver in delaying implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which required the President to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by May 31, 1999. The President‘s position is that moving the embassy would prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations on the future of Jerusalem.
Five resolutions introduced in Congress by pro-Israeli supporters would, taken together, constitute tantamount recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli‘s capital. They are:
(1) HR 2515, introduced on July 14 by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). This bill calls for the U.S. not to operate a consulate in Jerusalem unless it is supervised by the U.S. ambassador to Israel. The bill further calls for official U.S. documents to recognize Jerusalem as Israel‘s capital and for U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem to have Israel listed as their place of birth.
(2) HR 2529, introduced on July 15 by Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-NY), authorizes $50 million for construction of an embassy in Jerusalem. It reiterates, at times in exactly the same language, the three points made in Rep. Weiner‘s bill, HR 2515.
(3) HR 2584, introduced on July 21 by Rep. Jim Saxton (D-NJ), also known as the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1999, requires that construction of the U.S. Jerusalem embassy begin no later than December 3, 1999 and strips President Clinton of the national security waiver which has allowed him to delay such action thus far. In the event of non-compliance, this bill would penalize the State Department‘s budget by slashing funds for the security and maintenance of all U.S. embassies abroad.
(4) HR 2768, introduced on August 5 by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), also known as the Jerusalem Birthplace Act of 1999, requires that “Jerusalem, Israel” be recorded on US passports for the purposes of birth registration, certification of nationality or issuance of a passport of a United States citizen born in Jerusalem.
(5) HR 2785, introduced on August 5 by Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-NY), calling for certain steps to be taken by the United States towards recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reiterating the provisions appearing in HR 2515, HR 2529 and HR 2768.
We need your help in contacting the above Congressmen to make sure that they are aware of the dangers in implementing such resolutions both to the United States and to the cause of peace in Jerusalem.
(1) These resolutions are contrary to official U.S. policy. They undermine the role of the United States as a co-sponsor and “honest broker”of the peace process and prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations.
(2) These resolutions fly in the face of international law: UN Security Council Resolution 476 (June 30, 1980) states that Israeli actions to change the status of Jerusalem “constitute a flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention” and declares all such measures to be “null and void.” It emphasized the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force.
(3) These resolutions do not reflect the will of the American public or even the Jewish community. A recent poll by the Israel Policy Forum, a pro-Israel group that supports the peace process, shows that 52% of American Jews supported President Clinton‘s decision to put off moving the embassy.
(4) These resolutions support Israel‘s exclusive claims over Jerusalem, in direct contravention of international law and all of the Oslo Peace Process documents, which designate the status of Jerusalem as an issue to be determined only during the final status negotiations which are only just beginning. All parties are committed by these agreements not to take any action that would unilaterally alter the status of any of the remaining issues. Thus even Israel‘s Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, has urged Members of Congress not to “get out ahead of him” and to avoid “ill-timed” initiatives such as those aimed at forcing an embassy move.
(5) These bills totally disregard the human and national rights of the Palestinian people in general, and the Palestinians of Jerusalem in particular. They fly in the face of international law, the consensus of the international community, including the European Union and the Vatican, and are a severe affront to the sensitivities of the entire Arab world, millions of Christians, and over a billion Muslims, all of whom have a major stake in the future of the Holy City.
CONTACT YOUR CONGRESS MEMBERS TODAY !! Urge them to respect international law, the international consensus and the rights of the Palestinian people. Ask them to not support any legislation that prejudices and jeopardizes the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Keep in mind, it is always better to write your member of Congress (handwritten, personalized letters are the best) than to call or send an email. Of course, face-to-face meetings with legislators and their staffs are ideal.
Write to: Your Representative House of Representatives Washington, DC 20215
Your Senators U.S. Senate Washington, DC 20215
You can reach any member of Congress through the congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121.
Among the simplest ways of finding out about your congressperson and how to best contact her/him is