On Tuesday, June 4, a bi-partisan congressional call went out for the United States government to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv, to the capital of Israel, in Jerusalem.
The call went out from the congressional Israel Allies Caucus at an event marking Israel Reunification Day, the day in 1967 that Jerusalem was reunified as the result of Israel’s defeat of the Jordanian army. Israel acquired the land by defeating Jordan which attacked Israel as part of the 1967 war, despite Israel’s repeated pleas to Jordan to stay out of the hostilities.
The Congressional Israel Allies Caucus is a bi-partisan pro-Israel body which is jointly headed by Democratic and Republican Congressmen alike, and includes dozens of Congressmen across the political spectrum.
“We strongly believe that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel with no waivers and no caveats,” said Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05), co-chair of the IAC.
“It is long overdue for the U.S. government to relocate our embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem,” said Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman (CA-30). Sherman, who is Jewish, who became the co-chair of the IAC in late May. He noted that the move was a “no brainer” because the location of the planned U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is in a part of the city which has been under Israeli sovereignty since 1948.
“The deep commitment and friendship to the State of Israel transcend political differences,” said Republican Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08).
The Capital Hill event marking Jerusalem’s reunification was marked by dozens of lawmakers all over the world, via simultaneous broadcasting in government centers in Israel and in Europe.
“We appreciate your tireless efforts to secure the future of Jerusalem and of the Jewish State,” said Noam Katz, from the Embassy of Israel in Washington. “You are true and abiding friends who stand faithfully by our side. Your continued friendship inspires and sustains us.”
On the same day as the bipartisan plea, President Obama once again sent his official memorandum to the secretary of state invoking the suspension of the 1995 U.S. law that requires this country to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Obama, as has every president since the law was passed, both Democrats and Republicans, claimed that the embassy cannot be moved to Jerusalem because to do so would endanger the national security interests of the United States.
“I hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months the limitations set forth in sections 3(b) and 7(b) of the Act.”
But the rebuff by the U.S. president did not dampen the enthusiasm of the participants.
Newly installed Knesset member Dov Lipman flew in to Washington for the event. He said, “Jerusalem is not just a place but an idea where we can unify people of all faiths and all backgrounds.”
“We have made Jerusalem a place where everyone can worship openly.”
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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