President Trump faces chorus of opposition over potential US embassy move to Jerusalem

THE WAIVER DEADLINE TO DELAY THE MOVE EXPIRED MONDAY NIGHT.

The Israeli flag fluttering in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque and the city of Jerusalem

Jerusalem is holy to three religions – Jewish, Christian, Muslim.  Jerusalem is a right in the middle of an ongoing conflict dated back centuries even though the UN attempted a resolution decades ago that wasn’t accepted by the Muslim religion.  Until the Jerusalem question is resolved, the smallest wrong move there could set off a religious war.
For Jews, Jerusalem is where their Temple – the home of their one god – stood, in its various incarnations.
For Christians, Jesus, their messiah, died in Jerusalem and came back to life there; they can trace his genealogy back to King David, who established the united monarchy in Jerusalem and whose descendants, according to the Hebrew Bible, will include the Messiah.
For Muslims, Jerusalem – specifically “the farthest mosque,” identified with Al-Aqsa Mosque – was the destination of the Prophet Mohammed on his Night Journey, from where he ascended to heaven to speak with God.
For each of these religions, there is a spot in the Old City of Jerusalem that is most sacred, and it is the focus of their strongest, deepest passion and commitment:
For Jews, it is the Holy of Holies, whose precise location is no longer known, making the entire Temple Mount holy ground; for Christians, it is Calvary, where Jesus was crucified, which, for a majority of followers, is situated in what is today the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; while for Muslims, Al-Aqsa has come to refer to the entire Haram al-Sharif (the Arabic name for Temple Mount).
28 – Temple Mount » linear concepts
When the United Nations, on November 29, 1947, gave its imprimatur to a plan to divide Palestine into two states, one Arab, one Jewish, it famously left Jerusalem (which at the time had a large Jewish majority) out of the equation, intending it and its surroundings (including Bethlehem) to become an internationally administered, separate territory – a corpus separatum. The Jews accepted the plan, and Ben-Gurion noted that the loss of Jerusalem as part of sovereign Israel was the “price we have to pay” for a state in the rest of the land.
Palestine Map Today
 When the Arabs rejected the Partition Plan, and launched a war on Israel, the latter no longer considered itself bound by the boundaries set by the UN plan. During its War of Independence, Israel improved its strategic position in most parts of the country, and in Jerusalem, when the cease-fire lines were drawn, Israel occupied the western part of the city and the Jordanians the city’s east, including the Old City, where the Western Wall and Temple Mount are situated. Israel had fought for Jerusalem, and now it was not about to give it up.

The US embassy building at its current location in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv. Donald Trump told the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, that he plans to move it to Jerusalem. Photograph: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Fast forward to the presidential campaign trail, then presidential candidate Donald Trump promises highlighted a move of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.   Under the passage of the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, the president must sign a waiver every six months to delay the move of the embassy to Jerusalem. Every president since President Bill Clinton has pushed off the move, citing national security concerns.  President Trump signed the six month waiver this past June however last night the deadline expired without being resigned to postpone moving the embassy again.
With President Trump letting that deadline pass, could it serve as a signal that he is indeed starting the process of moving the embassy?  The flurry of international phone calls to foreign leaders indicated that may be the case.  Below are some of the details chorus of opposition from international leaders to President Trump’s calls:

Uri Avnery on Mahmoud Abbas – Nomadics[Palestine] “President Mahmoud Abbas received a telephone call from U.S. President Donald Trump in which he notified the President (Abbas) of his intention to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said in a statement, which did not specify when the move could happen.

President Abbas warned of the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world,” Abu Rdainah said.

Following the call with Trump, Abbas appealed to the Pope and the French and Jordanian leaders to intervene to block Trump’s proposed move, according to his spokesman.  Abbas also spoke with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who told the Palestinian leader that he backed the resumption of talks between Israel and the Palestinians including on the final status of Jerusalem.

President Erdogan of Turkey's disillusionment with the U.S. - 60 Minutes - CBS NewsThe Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, described the status of Jerusalem as a “red line” for Muslims that could lead to a severing of relations with Israel, while the European Union warned of possible “serious repercussions”.  While his Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said during a televised conference that US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would be a “major catastrophe.

If the [current] status of Jerusalem is changed and another step is taken… that would be a major catastrophe,” Bozdag said. “It would completely destroy the fragile peace process in the region, and lead to new conflicts, new disputes and new unrest.”

The AWESOME Photo of Jordan Leader Taking the Fight to ISISJordan’s King Abdullah issued a statement telling Trump that such a decision would have “dangerous repercussions on the stability and security of the region” and would obstruct US efforts to resume Arab-Israeli peace talks.

Historic – President Trump and Family Visit Jerusalem’s ...President Trump’s first foreign trip was to visit Israel this past summer and being the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall held special significance.  President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were accompanied by the Rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz, who said on Israel Radio that he recited two psalms with the U.S. leader. One of them, Psalm 122, speaks of Jerusalem as a “city that is united together”.

President Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel has been actively urging the US to relocate its diplomatic mission, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying in May that such a move would contribute to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by “shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.” The Palestinians have been adamantly opposed to that notion from the beginning, with Palestine’s UN envoy stating in November 2016 that Palestinians would make life “miserable” for the US if it transferred its embassy to Jerusalem.

German minister: ‘Trumpification’ of conflict in Gulf is ...German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also warned on Monday that any move by Washington to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital could deepen the Middle East conflict. “Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not calm a conflict, rather it fuels it even more,” he said, as quoted by AP. He added that such a move “would be a very dangerous development.”

Friedman

 

David Friedman was one of the President-elect’s principal advisers on the U.S.-Israel relationship during his election campaign and was President Trump’s top choice for the ambassador post in Israel.  He is a fluent speaker of Hebrew and a lifelong student of Israel’s history.  Mr. Friedman has stated that he would work tirelessly to “strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

 

 

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President Trump Arrives in Israel | DipNote

JERUSALEM EMBASSY ACT OF 1995:

Long title – An act to provide for the relocation of the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and for other purposes.
Acronyms (colloquial) – JEA
Enacted by – the 104th United States Congress
Effective – November 8, 1995.
Citations – Public law 104–45
Statutes at Large 109 Stat. 398
Codification
Acts amended None
Titles amended None
U.S.C. sections created None

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
* Introduced in the Senate as S. 1322 by Bob Dole (R-KS) on October 13, 1995
* Committee consideration by Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and House Committee on International Relations
* Passed the Senate on October 24, 1995 (93–5
* Roll call vote 496, via Senate.gov)
* Passed the House on October 24, 1995 (374–37
* Roll call vote 734, via Clerk.House.gov)
* Left unsigned by President Bill Clinton and became law on November 8, 1995

***

PUBLIC LAW – 104-45 — NOV. 8, 1995 109 STAT. 399
(11) The September 13, 1993,
Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government
Arrangements lays out a timetable
for the resolution of “final status” issues, including Jerusalem.
(12) The Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area was signed May 4, 1994, beginning the five-year transitional period laid out in the Declaration of Principles.
(13) In March of 1995, 93 members of the tJnited States Senate signed a letter to Secretary of State Warren Christopher
encouraging “planning to begin now” for relocation of the United
States Embassy to the city of Jerusalem.
(14) In June of 1993, 257 members of the United States
House of Representatives signed a letter to the Secretary of
State Warren Christopher stating that the relocation of the
United States Embassy to Jerusalem “should take place no
later than . . . 1999”.
(15) The United States maintains its embassy in the func-
tioning capital of every country except in the case of our demo-
cratic friend and strategic ally, the State of Israel.
(16)
The United States conducts official meetings and other
business in the city of Jerusalem in de facto recognition of
its status as the capital of Israel.
(17) In 1996, the State of Israel will celebrate the 3,000th
anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King
David’s entry.
SEC.
3. TIMETABLE.
(a) STATEMENT OF THE POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES.—
(1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which
the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected;
(2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the
State of Israel; and
(3) the United States Embassy in Israel should be estab-
lished in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.
(b)
OPENING
DETERMINATION.—Not
more than 50 percent of
Reports,
the funds appropriated to the Department of State for fiscal year
1999 for “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad” may
be obligated until the Secretary of State determines and reports
to Congress that the United States Embassy in Jerusalem has
officially opened.
SEC.
4. FISCAL YEARS 1996 AND 1997 FUNDING.
(a)
FISCAL YEAR
1996.—Of
the funds authorized to be appro-
priated for “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad” for
the Department of State in fiscal year 1996, not less than
$25,000,000 should be made available until expended only for
construction and other costs associated with the establishment of
the United States Embassy in Israel in the capital of Jerusalem.
(b)
FISCAL YEAR
1997.—Of the funds authorized to be appropriated for “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad” for the Department of State in fiscal year 1997, not less than $75,000,000 should be made available until expended only for construction and other costs associated with the establishment of the United States Embassy in Israel in the capital of Jerusalem.
SEC.
5. REPORT ON
IMPLEMENTATION.
Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this
Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Speaker
of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign

***

SENATE BILL 1322 — PRESENTED AND PASSED (LINK FOR TEXT) ………….. S.1322 – Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995,104th Congress (1995-1996)
Sponsor: Sen. Dole, Robert J. [R-KS] (Introduced 10/13/1995)
Latest Action: 11/08/1995 Became Public Law No: 104-45. (TXT | PDF) (All Actions)
Roll Call Votes: There have been 3 roll call votes
Notes: This bill was not signed by the President; it was sent to the Archivist of the United States unsigned. See 109 Stat. 398.
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International Affairs
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Summary (2) Text (5) Actions (22) Titles (4) Amendments (2) Cosponsors (76) Committees (0) Related Bills (2)

Summary: S.1322 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)
All Information (Except Text)
There are 2 summaries for S.1322.
Bill summaries are authored by CRS.
Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (10/24/1995)

Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 – Declares it to be U.S. policy that: (1) Jerusalem remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic religious group are protected; (2) Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and (3) the U.S. Embassy in Israel be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.

States that, subject to the President’s waiver authority granted below, not more than 50 percent of the funds appropriated for FY 1999 to the Department of State for “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad” may be obligated in the fiscal year until the Secretary of State determines, and reports to the Congress, that the Embassy has opened.

Makes specified amounts of such funds available until expended in FY 1996 and 1997 only for construction and other costs associated with relocating the U.S. Embassy Jerusalem.

Requires the Secretary of State to report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate on: (1) the Department of State’s plan to implement this Act; and (2) progress made toward opening the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Authorizes the President to suspend for six months (with possible subsequent six-month extensions) the 50 percent limitation on the obligation of funds with respect to the opening of the Embassy if he determines and reports to the Congress that a suspension is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.

***

PUBLIC LAW – 104-45 — NOV. 8, 1995 – 109 STAT. 401
SEC.
8. DEFINITION.
As used in this Act, the term “United States Embass means the offices of the United States diplomatic mission and the residence of the United States chief of mission.
[Note by the Office of the Federal Register: The foregoing Act, having been pre-sented to the President of the United States on Thursday, October 26, 1995, and not having been returned by him to the House of Congress in which it originated within the time prescribed by the Constitution of the United States, has become law without his signature on November 8, 1995.]

EDITOR NOTESpecial Thanks to TRUthMAchine for excellent research on this topic.