November 3, 2009
Action Alerts

Urge Senators To Cosponsor New Jerusalem Bill Introduced By Senator Brownback (S. 2737)

Contact your Senators now to express your support for and urge them to co-sponsor the `Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 2009,’ introduced today by Senator Brownback (R-KS) and with original co-sponsorship by Senators Inhofe (R-OK) and Kyl (R-AZ).  The full text of the bill is below.  This legislation, when it becomes law will require the State Department to move our embassy to Jerusalem and have it fully operating by 2012.  This bill would remove the waiver authority that the President has under current law to leave the embassy in Tel Aviv.  In addition, the bill expresses the “sense of Congress” that there should be no discrimination against Jewish ownership of land in any part of Jerusalem, and criticizes the State Department for the peculiar arrangement regarding the US Consulate in Jerusalem, which does not report to diplomats in Israel proper.


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly supports this Bill, and urges all Senators to become co-sponsors.  Israel is the only country in the world where the US does not locate the embassy in the actual capitol of the country.  Countries which are opposed to Israel have interpreted the US refusal to move the embassy to Jerusalem as a lack of legitimacy for Israel‘s claim to the ancient city.  US law explicitly recognizes Jerusalem as Israel‘s capitol already, but the President is able to exercise a ‘waiver’ to allow the State Department to ignore the law, and Presidents of both political parties have found it convenient to take no action.  This Bill would eliminate that waiver, and it is long overdue.


 


S 2737 IS


111th CONGRESS


1st Session


S. 2737

To relocate to Jerusalem the United States Embassy in Israel, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES



November 5, 2009


Mr. BROWNBACK (for himself, Mr. INHOFE, Mr. KYL, Mr. CORNYN, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mr. VITTER, and Mr. BUNNING) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations




A BILL

To relocate to Jerusalem the United States Embassy in Israel, and for other purposes.


    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.



    This Act may be cited as the `Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 2009′.


SEC. 2. FINDINGS.



    Congress makes the following findings:



      (1) Each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital.



      (2) Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years.



      (3) Jerusalem has never been the capital for any other state other than for the Jewish people.



      (4) Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel.



      (5) The city of Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the site of numerous government ministries and social and cultural institutions.



      (6) The city of Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Judaism, and is also considered a holy city by the members of other religious faiths.



      (7) From 1948-1967, Jerusalem was a divided city and Israeli citizens of all faiths as well as Jewish citizens of all states were denied access to holy sites in the area controlled by Jordan.



      (8) In 1967, the city of Jerusalem was reunited during the conflict known as the Six Day War.



      (9) Since 1967, Jerusalem has been a united city under Israeli law, and persons of all religious faiths have been guaranteed under Israeli law full access to holy sites within the city.



      (10) The United States maintains its embassy in the functioning capital of every country except in the case of our democratic friend and strategic ally, the State of Israel.



      (11) 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.



      (12) United States law states as a matter of United States policy that Jerusalem should be the undivided capital of Israel.



      (13) Relocating the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would express the continued support of the United States for Israel and for an undivided Jerusalem.


SEC. 3. RELOCATION OF THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM.



    (a) Removal of Waiver Authority- The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-45; 109 Stat. 398) is amended–



      (1) by striking section 7; and



      (2) by redesignating section 8 as section 7.


    (b) Timetable- Not more than 50 percent of the funds appropriated to the Department of State for fiscal year 2012 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.


    (c) Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 Funding-



      (1) FISCAL YEAR 2010- Of the funds authorized to be appropriated for `Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad’ for the Department of State for fiscal year 2010, such sums as may be necessary shall 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.



      (2) FISCAL YEAR 2011- Of the funds authorized to be appropriated for `Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad’ for the Department of State for fiscal year 2011, such sums as may be necessary shall 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.


    (d) Definition- In this section, the term `United States Embassy’ means the offices of the United States diplomatic mission and the residence of the United States chief of mission.