The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
The current issue of Commentary magazine tells of sordid – and possibly criminal – Obama administration efforts to alter some files of the George W. Bush administration that refer to Jerusalem as being part of Israel. The article also adds a fascinating footnote to the much-publicized Zivotofsky case.
It will be recalled that, pursuant to a federal statute that required the State Department to list “Israel” as the country of birth of U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem if so requested, the parents of Menachem Zivotofsky applied for that recordation on his behalf.
The State Department denied the request on the grounds that the U.S. does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that such a designation would be tantamount to U.S. recognition and therefore an unconstitutional Congressional intrusion on the powers of the president in setting American foreign policy.
However, the Commentary article, “Capital Offense: The Obama Administration and its Jerusalem Problem” by Omri Ceren, reports that in the course of the litigation in the matter, and shortly in advance of its Supreme Court phase, the Obama administration seems to have “scrubbed” Bush-era documents to eliminate existing references to Jerusalem as part of Israel, apparently fearing the references would belie its position on the significance of the passport designation. According to the article,
In August 2011, the administration was caught digitally altering archived historical documents of previous White Houses in order to suggest, falsely, that past administrations had had the same policy. The administration had erased parts of publicly available documents in a brazen attempt to trick people into thinking that other administrations had taken positions they had not.
When “the White House’s tactics sparked accusations of a cover-up,” writes Ceren, “the administration claimed [the references] were simply a mistake, and that neither the Obama administration nor any prior administration ever referenced ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ in official documents.”
However, Ceren continues,I uncovered several references to “Jerusalem, Israel” throughout the web pages of the George W. Bush presidency…. Politico later found dozens of documents stretching back to the Nixon administration, including the official daily diaries of presidents visiting the city, stamped “Jerusalem, Israel.”
Ceren said the documents he and Politico uncovered “were on archive servers beyond the administration’s control. But there were other servers, including those run by the State Department, that were within the administration’s reach” which related to pre-Obama presidencies:
There had been pre-Obama documents on the State Department servers that mentioned “Jerusalem, Israel.” Two documents listing the locations of American consulates, one from 2002 and one from 2003, placed the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem in “Israel.” Some time after the controversy began in 2011, somebody went back to those documents and scrubbed them to read only “Jerusalem.”…. Thus, while some administration officials were telling reporters and the public that there were no Bush-era documents referencing “Jerusalem, Israel,” other administration officials were busy scrubbing Bush-era documents referencing “Jerusalem, Israel.” Such digital alteration is no small task. Somebody at the State Department had to go back to the original 2002 and 2003 documents, convert them into PDF files, then upload the new ones to the State Department servers under the same file names as the old documents.
Federal law makes it a criminal offense to tamper with federal documents. In 2004, Sandy Berger, former national security adviser to President Clinton, narrowly avoided prison but paid a fine of $50,000 and lost his law license for pilfering archived documents.
Further, the position the Obama administration has presented to the Supreme Court and other federal courts is that the designation of Jerusalem as part of Israel would signify U.S. recognition as a matter of foreign policy. Yet the above-mentioned references to Jerusalem were made at the same time that previous administrations refused to officially recognize the city as part of Israel. This is a story with legs.
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We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/doctoring-official-documents/2012/05/09/
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