Senators: move US embassy to Jerusalem



WASHINGTON- Seven US Senators on Thursday unveiled legislation to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a step perennially resisted by US presidents including Barack Obama.
"It is long overdue for America to recognize the sovereign right of Israel to choose Jerusalem as its capital city," said Republican Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, the measure's lead author.



Senators: move US embassy to Jerusalem
While the move is technically required under a 1995 law, that measure also includes a presidential waiver on national security grounds, which every US leader has invoked to block the change.
Brownback's measure would strip out the waiver authority, and would block some US State Department money until the embassy is built and in use.
Other backers included Republican Senators Jim Inhofe, Jon Kyl, John Cornyn, David Vitter and Jim Bunning as well as Independent Senator Joe Lieberman.
In June, Obama delayed for six months moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv -- where other foreign embassies are located -- to Jerusalem, a bureaucratic ritual that exemplifies the controversy over the city's status.
US policy on Jerusalem has not changed: Jerusalem is a final status issue to be resolved in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, a White House official said on condition of anonymity.
Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, then annexed Arab east Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
The international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the future of the city is a key stumbling block in negotiations with the Palestinians, who want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.
On May 21, right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Jerusalem would remain Israel's capital "forever."
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Thursday, November 5th 2009
AFP
           


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