Is the Knesset in the capital of Israel?
Is the Knesset in the capital of Israel? Israel news photo: Flash 90

Soon after the State Department was not able to state the location of the capital of Israel, the Washington Post named the capital as Tel Aviv. The CAMERA media watchdog organization caught the error, and the Post issued a correction.

The original article stated, “Obama's more aggressive message this year reflects the increasing concern in Washington, Tel Aviv and other capitals about Iran's enrichment program, which Israel believes will be used to produce a nuclear weapon.”

The correction stated, “A March 21 A-section article about President Obama's annual message to the Iranian people incorrectly referred to Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel. Israel designated Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, although many countries maintain embassies and other diplomatic missions in Tel Aviv because of the Palestinians' competing claim on Jerusalem as their capital.”

Last week, Arutz Sheva posted a video of a verbal exchange between  Associated Press reporter Matt Lee and State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, who refused to state the location of the capital.

She explained, “We are not going to prejudge the outcome of those negotiations, including the final status of Jerusalem…. 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.”

Following is the video of the exchange:

The United States, like most of the international community, has placed its embassy in Tel Aviv rather than provoke Arab anger by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital.

The Clinton, Reagan and Obama administrations have used a Congressional waiver to avoid carrying out a law that declares that the embassy be in J. The waiver allows the president to declare that carrying out the law would create a national security problem, although it never has been explained how American security would be threatened by moving the embassy.

Last week’s United States Supreme Court decision declared that a lower court must deal with a complaint by a Jerusalem resident that the State Department has refused to write “Jerusalem, Israel” on his passport.

A court decision in the plaintiff’s favor would force a major policy change, but what apparently prompted the question to the State Department was its altering an official communication that originally referred to Israel and Jerusalem as separate entities.

“The first media note was issued in error, without appropriate clearances,” Nuland tried to explain.