June 24, 2005
Contact Morton A. Klein at: www.zoa.org
Attn: NEWS EDITOR
ZOA CRITICIZES PRESIDENT BUSH FOR AGAIN REFUSING
TO MOVE U.S. EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM
WASHINGTON - The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) expressed its
disappointment in President Bush, for this month once again invoking the
Presidential waiver on the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, that calls for the
U.S. Embassy in Israel to be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It was
the eighth such waiver for Bush, and he again cited "the national security
interests of the United States" as the reasons for failing to fulfill the
"It's now been ten years since this act was enacted," said Morton A.
Klein, National President of ZOA. "It's deeply disappointing, and
unacceptable," said Klein, "that the will of Congress and the American
people continues to be waived every six months."
"The President needs to remember that Jerusalem is mentioned over 700
times in Jewish sacred texts, and not once in the Qur'an, that in the 19
years it was controlled by Jordan, no Arab leader even visited the city; it
was left to become a slum, with few homes having electricity or running
water, and that Jerusalem has never served as the capital of any state
occupying the region, except Israel."
Since the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, an initiative of
then-Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), U.S. law has required that the U.S. Embassy in
Israel be established in Jerusalem, and over $100 million dollars was
approved for the move. Failure to do so by 1999 was to have triggered severe
penalties on the other constructions under the U.S. foreign aid program. But
the establishment of the Embassy in Jerusalem has been postponed without
penalty through the exercise of the Presidential waiver in the 1995
legislation, first by President Clinton in December 1999, and subsequently
every six months by the Bush Administrations. "National security concerns,"
have been consistently cited as the reason for the delay, and without real
Congressional resolutions and efforts to put the spotlight back on to
the 1995 requirements have failed to alter the White House position. Even
though Jerusalem is the seat of Israel's government, it remains the only
capital city designated by the host country in which the U.S. does not
maintain an embassy nor fully recognize it as the capital.
* * *
The Zionist Organization of America, founded in 1897, is the oldest
pro-Israel organization in the United States. The ZOA works to strengthen
U.S.-Israel relations, educates the American public and Congress about the
dangers that Israel faces, and combats anti-Israel bias in the media and on
college campuses. Its past presidents have included Supreme Court Justice
Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.