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Post Background of US Recognition of Jerusalem
Created by John Eipper on 12/25/17 3:08 AM

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Background of US Recognition of Jerusalem (Brian Blodgett, USA, 12/25/17 3:08 am)

Putting the recent action by President Trump in US historic context is important.

On October 13, 1995 Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) introduced the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 to the Senate. The long name of the act was An act to provide for the relocation of the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and for other purposes. It went before the 104th US Congress's Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on International Relations. As a note, the 104th Congress was the first time the Republicans controlled both houses since 1954. It passed the Senate on October 24, 1995 and the House on the same day--as a note, President Clinton opted not to sign it or veto it and it became law on November 8, 1995 as Public Law 104-45.

In the act it states that "Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethic and religious group are projected; Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999," with the key word being should throughout.

Although by law Jerusalem was the official capital in the view of the US, Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama did not implement the law.

In 2008, candidate Obama called Jerusalem the capital of Israel and after capturing the Democratic nomination he stated that Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel but then he backtracked on his statements.

According to reports, the US is not taking sides on exactly what defines Jerusalem's boundaries, and if the Western Wall is part of the capital or not, just that the city is the capital.

I am not going to comment at this time if the decision was good or bad. I am just providing the facts supporting President Trump's legal action on implementing the provisions of the 1995 Act.

JE comments:  Very informative.  Brian Blodgett reminds us that pre-Trump, US presidents wanted to have it both ways--to "recognize" Jerusalem for political gain at home, but to avoid any real action in order to keep the peace abroad.  Some might call this hypocrisy.  Others call it shrewd politics.

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