State Department Refuses to Say Jerusalem is Israel´s Capital (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 03/29/12)
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U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Wednesday
refused to say that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, according to
a report by The Weekly Standard.
The report said the exchange took place at the daily State Department
press briefing. The questions Nuland was asked were regarding a
Washington Free Beacon story that highlighted the State Department´s
refusal to list Jerusalem as part of Israel.
Earlier in the week, the Washington Free Beacon had shown an official
State Department communication which labeled Jerusalem and Israel as
The official press release stated that “Acting Under Secretary
Kathleen Stephens Travels to Algeria, Qatar, Jordan, Jerusalem, and
After the Washington Free Beacon reported on this, the communication
was altered to read, “Acting Under Secretary Kathleen Stephens
Travels to Algiers, Doha, Amman, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv.”
On Wednesday, a reporter asked Nuland about this, saying, “Yesterday
there was a bit of a kerfuffle over an announcement that was made by
the department about the travel of your boss. Is it the State
Department´s position that Jerusalem is not part of Israel?”
Nuland said in response, according to a transcript quoted by The
Weekly Standard, “Well, you know that our position on Jerusalem has
not changed. The first media note was issued in error, without
appropriate clearances. We reissued the note to make clear that
undersecretary, acting undersecretary for -- our -- Kathy Stevens
will be travelling to Algiers, Doha, Amman, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
With regard to our Jerusalem policy, it´s a permanent-status issue.
It´s got to be resolved through the negotiations between the parties.”
The reporter did not let up and asked Nuland whether it was the view
of the United States that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, to
which Nuland responded, “We are not going to prejudge the outcome of
those negotiations, including the final status of Jerusalem.”
The reporter then asked, “Does that -- does that mean that you do not
regard Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?” and Nuland
responded, “Jerusalem is a permanent-status issue. It´s got to be
resolved through negotiations.”
Q: That seems to suggest that you do not regard Jerusalem as the
capital of Israel. Is that correct or not?
Nuland: I have just spoken to this issue -- and I have nothing
further to say on it.
Later on during the briefing, the same reporter asked once again, “I
want to clarify something, perhaps give you an ‘out’ on your
Jerusalem answer. Is it your -- is it your position that all of
Jerusalem is a final-status issue, or do you think -- or is it just
The irritated Nuland, according to The Weekly Standard, then
responded, “Matt, I don´t have anything further to what I´ve said 17
times on that subject. OK?”
The issue of Jerusalem being recognized by the U.S. as Israel’s
capital has been at the forefront for many years. It is centered on
whether Israel has sovereignty over Jerusalem.
Attorney Harvey Schwartz, Chair of the American Israeli Action
Coalition, explained in an interview with Arutz Sheva several months
ago, “United States policy has been consistent since 1948 that Israel
is not sovereign over Jerusalem. Rather, the question of Jerusalem’s
sovereignty is to be determined, ultimately, by resolution between
the parties. That’s been consistent U.S. policy.”
The question of Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem is central to the
Menachem Zivotofsky v. Hillary Clinton case. The case involves
Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born in Jerusalem and whose parents
requested that the place of birth on his U.S. passport and Consular
Report of Birth Abroad be listed as Israel.
The State Department refused the request, leading the Zivotofskys to
appeal to the Supreme Court.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court returned the decision on the
issue to the lower court.
In their decision, the justices wrote, “Congress enacted a statue
providing that Americans born in Jerusalem may elect to have “Israel”
listed as the place of birth on their passports. The State Department
declined to follow that law, citing its longstanding policy of not
taking a position on the political status of Jerusalem. When sued by
an American who invoked that statute, the Secretary of State argued
that the courts lacked authority to decide the case because it
presented a political question. The Court of Appeals so held.
“We disagree. The courts are fully capable of determining whether
this statute may be given effect, or instead must be struck down in
light of authority conferred on the Executive by the Constitution.”
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 03/29/12)
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