Jerusalem is the capital of Israel / Obama and Romney won´t state this basic fact (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS OP-ED) By Rick Santorum 04/09/12)
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There is, sadly, a huge divide between the Obama administration’s
position and that of the government of Israel with regard to
For thousands of years, at the end of the Passover Seder as well as
at the end of Yom Kippur, Jews around the world conclude their
holiday by reciting, “Next Year in Jerusalem.”
To Jews, Jerusalem is the holiest city, and has the holiest site, the
Temple Mount, which includes the Western Wall. Jews praying outside
of Jerusalem face toward Jerusalem. When Israel became a state more
than 60 years ago, Jerusalem, though it was divided at the time and
the Western Wall was in Jordanian hands, was declared Israel’s
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case brought by an
American Jewish family, the Zivotofskys, whose child was born in West
Jerusalem in 2002. The Obama administration, following the Bush
administration’s policy, opposed listing “Jerusalem, Israel” as the
birthplace on the child’s American passport — despite a U.S. law
requiring such a listing.
The U.S. Supreme Court, by an 8-1 margin, decided that the State
Department could not wantonly break such a law and prevent the
judiciary from reviewing that breach. I agree with that decision.
Even more startling than this refusal to list “Jerusalem, Israel” as
the birthplace on an American passport was an exchange at a March
2012 Obama State Department press briefing. In an exchange with
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee, the spokeswoman made it clear
that even Jerusalem’s western part, the Jewish side of the city,
controlled by Israel since 1949, is not recognized as part of Israel.
The question was asked repeatedly:
Q: “What is the capital of Israel?”
A: “Our policy with regard to Jerusalem is that it has to be solved
through negotiations. That’s all I have to say on this issue.”
The conversation continued:
Q: “Is it your — is it your position that all of Jerusalem is a final-
status issue, or do you think — or is it just East Jerusalem?”
A: “Matt, I don’t have anything further to what I’ve said 17 times on
that subject. Okay?”
Q: “All right. So hold on. So I just want to make sure. You’re saying
that all of Jerusalem, not just East Jerusalem, is a final-status
A: “Matt, I don’t have anything further on Jerusalem to what I’ve
The Obama administration is thus saying that it does not even
recognize Israel within its indefensible 1949 borders but that
somehow it will protect Israel’s security?
It has been longstanding U.S. policy not to officially recognize any
part of Jerusalem as part of Israel — and it is dead wrong.
Never has Israel ever offered Western Jerusalem in a negotiation, so
why would the administration keep this totally Jewish section of the
city in question?
The Israeli Gaza withdrawal and the missiles that are launching from
there into Israeli cities demonstrates that any Israeli withdrawal
from any part of Jerusalem would leave Israel without defensible
borders. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated, as have other
Israeli prime ministers, that he will never divide Jerusalem.
Unfortunately, I cannot say that my opponent for the Republican
Presidential nomination has a different position from that of the
President. He has not expressed his opinion about the Obama
administration’s position on Jerusalem.
When asked about recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and
moving our embassy there, Mitt Romney is undecided, and said he would
consult with the government of Israel. He has been running for
President for six years, and I think that is long enough for him to
get up to speed on foreign policy and make a decision on this crucial
There is no daylight between my position and the government of
Israel’s on the issue of Jerusalem. I voted for the Jerusalem Embassy
Act of 1995, I support recognizing a united Jerusalem as the capital
of Israel and I will move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem in compliance
with that act.
It is actually not well known that the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995
made it U.S. law to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and
that the waiver provision of the act only applied to moving the
embassy to Jerusalem. A letter to President Bill Clinton — signed by
84 U.S. senators, including me — articulated this point.
We know the Obama administration is not complying with U.S. law. We
do not know what a potential Romney administration would do. A
Santorum administration would mean that next year, there will be a
Passover Seder at the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem — and when Jews
say, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” that will actually be the case for the
Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, is running for the
Republican nomination for President. (© Copyright 2012
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