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U.S. Policy v. Jerusalem "You Can't Touch This!"

By Mark B. Kaplan
12/20/2011, 6:12 AM


We eagerly await the ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court whether Congress can interfere in the President's foreign policy and force the Government to allow Jerusalem to be labeled "Israel" on passports and consular birth records for those born in Israel's capital. This is a landmark U.S. Constitutional law case, and the outcome will have a far-reaching impact on future diplomacy and legislation.

However, the case ignores a simple fact: The U.S. is already obligated to recognize all Jerusalem as part of the State of Israel. This has been reaffirmed through legislation and Treaty Law around a half-dozen times.


The following are samples of resolutions/statutes mentioned on today's program. I added the bold to highlight important text:

House Resolution Expressing Support for Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
(April 24, 1990)

Whereas the State of Israel has declared Jerusalem to be its capital;

Whereas from 1948 to 1967 Jerusalem was a divided city and Israeli citizens of all faiths were not permitted access to holy sites in the area controlled by Jordan;

Whereas since 1967 Jerusalem has been a united city administered by Israel and persons of all religious faiths have been guaranteed full access to holy sites within the city;

Whereas the President and the Secretary of State have demonstrated their strong desire to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and have worked diligently toward that end;

Whereas ambiguous statements by the Government of the United States concerning the right of Jews to live in all parts of Jerusalem raise concerns in Israel that Jerusalem might one day be redivided and access to religious sites in Jerusalem denied to Israeli citizens; and the search for a lasting peace in the region: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the Congress

(1) acknowledges that Jerusalem is and should remain the capital of the State of Israel;
(2) strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic religious group are protected; and
(3) calls upon all parties involved in the search for peace to maintain their strong efforts to bring about negotiations between Israel and Palestinian representatives.
______________

FOREIGN RELATIONS AUTHORIZATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 2003
Public Law 107-228
107th Congress


SEC. 214. UNITED STATES POLICY WITH RESPECT TO JERUSALEM AS THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL.

    (a) Congressional Statement of Policy.--The Congress maintains its 
commitment to relocating the United States Embassy in Israel to 
Jerusalem and urges the President, pursuant to the Jerusalem Embassy Act 
of 1995 (Public Law 104-45; 109 Stat. 398), to immediately begin the 
process of relocating the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
    (b) Limitation on Use of Funds for Consulate in Jerusalem.--None of 
the funds authorized to be appropriated by this

[[Page 116 STAT. 1366]]

Act may be expended for the operation of a United States consulate or 
diplomatic facility in Jerusalem unless such consulate or diplomatic 
facility is under the supervision of the United States Ambassador to 
Israel.
    (c) Limitation on Use of Funds for Publications.--None of the funds 
authorized to be appropriated by this Act may be available for the 
publication of any official government document which lists countries 
and their capital cities unless the publication identifies Jerusalem as 
the capital of Israel.
    (d) Record of Place of Birth as Israel for Passport Purposes.--For 
purposes of the registration of birth, certification of nationality, or 
issuance of a passport of a United States citizen born in the city of 
Jerusalem, the Secretary shall, upon the request of the citizen or the 
citizen's legal guardian, record the place of birth as Israel.