Long standing US Policy on Jerusalem is anti-Israel and pro-Arab.

By Ted Belman,  August 2012

For the last 60 years, the US has been steadfast in its efforts to prevent Israel from exercising sovereignty over Jerusalem and declaring it to be its capital. The only possible reason for such a policy is to show deference to the oil lobby in the US. It mattered little to it, that for three thousand years, Jerusalem has only been the capital of Judea, now Israel, and is inseparable from it. Jerusalem (Zion) is mentioned over 700 times in the Torah and not once in the Koran.

Last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was pressed on the issue of Jerusalem. Not only was he unwilling to say the Jerusalem is the capital of Israel but he was not prepared to acknowledge that the western section of Jerusalem, which Israel conquered in the ’48 War and which lies to the west of the armistice lines, was even in Israel.

By acknowledging he was in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, Romney embraced the reality and flew in the face of a 60 year old American policy.

The response from Camp Obama was immediate.

    “Some people are scratching their heads a bit” over Romney’s remarks, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, noting that the Republican candidate is defying a position “that’s been held by previous administrations, both Democratic and Republican. So if Mr. Romney disagrees with that position, he’s also disagreeing with the position that was taken by Presidents like Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.”

And what exactly is that position?  Obviously that Jerusalem, all of it, is not in Israel. Why so? Israel has exercised sovereignty over western Jerusalem since ’48 and over all of Jerusalem since ’67.

The position of the US is based in part on Res 181 of the UNGA, (The Partition Plan), which was passed in 1947. The resolution recommended the creation of two states, one Arab, one Jewish, both excluding Jerusalem, which was to be a corpus separatum:

    “The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The Trusteeship Council shall be designated to discharge the responsibilities of the Administering Authority on behalf of the United Nations.”

This corpus separatum was to remain for up to 10 years.

    “After the expiration of this period the whole scheme shall be subject to examination by the Trusteeship Council in the light of experience acquired with its functioning. The residents the City shall be then free to express by means of a referendum their wishes as to possible modifications of regime of the City.”

But for this clause, Ben Gurion wouldn’t have accepted the resolution. He knew that in ten years, the Jews would be in the majority in Jerusalem and that they would vote to have Jerusalem join Israel. Pursuant to this resolution Israel declared its independence six months later.

The Arabs on the other hand, rejected this resolution and invaded Israel, only to be pushed back, as Israel, fighting for her life, acquired more territory including the western part of Jerusalem. The United Nations, led by the US, intervened before Israel could acquire even more territory and forced Israel to accept a ceasefire, and a ceasefire line, which the defeated Arabs, including Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, were only too happy to accept. This line became known as the “green line” as it was demarcated in green on the map. At the insistence of Jordan, the Armistice Agreement provided that such line would not and did not constitute “borders”. Borders had to be agreed upon in the future.

The US first tried to prevent Israel from declaring independence and then in the ceasefire negotiations, tried to force Israel to retreat to the Partition lines, to no avail. Ben Gurion steadfastly refused and designated Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Daniel Tauber, Director of Likud Anglos, writes:

“According to a 1962 State Department memorandum , Israel’s establishment of Jerusalem as its capital in 1950 violated UN General Assembly resolutions and “the status of Jerusalem is a matter of United Nations concern and no member of the United Nations should take any action to prejudice the United Nations’ interest in this question.”

“The memo continues, stating that the US opposes the resolution of the issue through “fait accompli.”

“The original decision against moving the US embassy to Jerusalem may be even more untenable. According to State Department papers released in 1983 (“Foreign Relations of the United States 1952- 1954,” Vol. V), on July 16, 1953, four days after Israel’s Foreign Ministry moved its offices to Jerusalem, Secretary of State John Dulles met with British Acting Foreign Secretary Lord Salisbury.

“During the meeting Dulles explained, “We do not intend to move our embassy to Jerusalem and we will probably wait for Israeli officials to come to our embassy rather than send embassy representatives to Jerusalem for the conduct of business,” reasoning “after all we [are] considerably more important to them than they to us.”

“More outrageous is the 1962 memo’s revelation that the US lobbied other countries against establishing embassies in Jerusalem. It stated that “when the Department learns that a government for the first time is contemplating the establishment of a diplomatic mission in Israel, we inform that government of the historical background of United Nations’ attitudes toward Jerusalem and express the hope that, in deference to United Nations’ attitudes, its mission will be established in Tel Aviv, where most other missions are located.”

From then to the present, it has been US policy, not to allow Israel to win a war with the Arabs decisively or if she did, to force Israel to retreat to her position before the war. The one exception to this was UNSC Res 242 which was passed after Israel’s resounding victory in the ’67 War. This resolution didn’t require Israel to retreat from all lands conquered but permitted Israel to remain in occupation until she had an agreement for “secure and recognized boundaries”. No mention was made of Jerusalem.

But thereafter, successive US administrations have forced Israel to include it as a final status issue notwithstanding that it was supposed to have been dealt with by referendum. Little, did PM Shamir, who first accepted it as such, dream that by doing so, the western part of Jerusalem, which had been Israel’s capitol for the preceding 40 years, would no longer be considered in Israel.

Obama has attempted to get Israel to accept the green line, otherwise known as the ’67 lines, as the boundary subject to mutually agreed swaps of land. though no law or agreement supports his position.

From the perspective of the all US administrations, Jerusalem is not part of Israel until such time as it is negotiated so to be. They have even gone so far as to not register Israel as the country of birth for US citizens born in Jerusalem.

If there isn’t to be a referendum then there is no corpus separatum and that part of Jerusalem that lies west of the green line should rightly be treated no differently than any part of the land west of the green line, namely as part of Israel.

Similarly, all land lying to the east of the green line is not considered part of Israel by the international community until borders are agreed upon. That is why the US forbids settlement construction there by Jews. Inconsistently she allows settlement construction by the Arabs on these lands. It doesn’t seem to bother the State Department that the same reasoning applies to the Arabs. Until such time as the land is divided by agreement, it is nobody’s land and shouldn’t be built upon. Nor should the US operate her consulate in the eastern part of Jerusalem, which she does, until such time as there is an agreement on Jerusalem. That is, if they want to be consistent.

So, along comes Romney and says otherwise. Is he simply making a statement to show solidarity with Israel or is he intending to reverse the US position should he become President. Of necessity then, he would have no excuse not to move the US embassy to the western part of Jerusalem where the Knesset and most government offices are. Or would he continue in the paths of other Presidents in not moving the embassy to Jerusalem because the timing was not right or some other excuse. Without such a move, his declaration is meaningless. Considering his many foreign policy advisors, who are on the right, I believe he knew what he was doing.

After all, Congress is at odds with this long standing State Department policy. A 1990 House resolution that declared “Jerusalem is and should remain the capital of the State of Israel.”

Subsequently, The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-45 stated in part:

“STATEMENT OF THE POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES.

(1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected;

(2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and

(3) the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.”

This resolution also included a waiver clause which all Presidents subsequently took advantage of, even if they, in some cases, had pledged to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

No matter how much we are told of the power of the Jewish Lobby, it only has influence with Congress whereas the Saudi Lobby dominates the State Department which is in charge of Foreign Policy. Please note The Vast Power of the Saudi Lobby.

But a determined President can change all this by moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem Israel’s capital.

Noah Pollack wrote in the Weekly Standard:

“The controversy has real substance, and Romney’s position has implications far beyond the status of Jerusalem: It is a pledge to stop subordinating American policy and conforming America’s treatment of her allies to the desires of the “international community.” No more “engagement” for engagement’s sake, which under Obama, like Jimmy Carter before him, is often bad news for Israel.”

I hope he is right.

ADDENDUM

On December 6, 2017, President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and stated that the American embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He subsequently did so.

One must keep in mind that resolutions of the UNGA such as Res 181 are not binding and do not create rights or law.

Professor Eugene Kontorovich is the head of the international law department of the Kohelet Policy Forum and a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affair. He answers the question, “how can the legal position of Judea and Samaria [West Bank] be defined?”, in Israeli rule in the West Bank is legal under International Law .

“The question that should be asked is: What were the borders of Israel when it was first established? What defines this is the borders at the moment of independence. Israel was created, like most countries, after a successful war where no one came to its aid. In international law, there is a clear rule regarding the establishment of new countries: the country’s borders are determined in accordance with the borders of the previous political entity in that area. So, what was here before? The British Mandate. And what were the borders of the British Mandate? From the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.”

Thus Israel’s borders, regardless of the Ceasefire Agreement in 1949 are from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

August 3, 2012 | 20 Comments »

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  1. Chew on this slowly. “Without Britain’s corruption of the Balfour Pledge and the White Paper, Jordan would now be part of Israel, and the Holocaust could not have happened.”

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  2. Count me a cynic…look at the Republican electorate in these United States…it is majority Pro-Israel and Pro-Jerusalem as its capital. Even though there are many nuances in their positions, the people of the United States, both Republican and Democrat, are Pro-Israel, but are somewhat divided on the issue of where its capital should be located. The people of the United States have not generally elected Presidents who are experienced in foreign policy; in fact, most have been almost totally naive in foreign policy. Mitt Romney is no exception in this regard, nor was President Barack Obama. Although foreign policy is a consideration in the electorate, we tend to vote more on local issues, foreign policy toward Israel has been more influential in shaping the vote on the right than on the left. Romney needs the right, thus the strong positions on the issues concerning Israel. Of course, it will help if his statements can somehow wrest some of the Jewish vote from an almost solidly Democratic bloc in the past.

  3. Genesis 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;

    JEWS WIN ! G-D OF ISRAEL RULES ! LETS HAVE ONEG AND DANCE !

  4. The only way for Israel to get acceptance of Jerusalem as its capital to to make it a fact.
    Insist that all of the nation’s business with other nations be conducted in Jerusalem and refuse to permit Israeli government agencies or departments or individuals to do otherwise.
    Provide uncomfortable, dilapidated shuttle buses for representatives of all foreign countries from their residences outside the capital into Jerusalem. They will soon see the wisdom of recognizing the validity of Israel’s claim.

  5. In the question of obama vs romney, as opposed to prior presidents, I think that Obama is hostile to Israel, and the Jews whereas I dont think Romney is hostile. this is a difference between 2 people as opposed to 2 policies. Therefore, I think Obama is more dangerous to Israel as an unknown hostile entity

  6. The motivating factor beneath all international politics is oil. Up until now the Arabs had it and Israel didn’t. So the Arabs had the upper hand. Hopefully with the finding of tremendous oil and gas reserves Israel might at sometime in the future become a force to be reckoned with because of these assets.

  7. @ yamit82:

    G.W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice–two evil people! At least I can honestly say–I never supported G.W. Bush–I knew from the beginning he was an evil man!

  8. The US policy on Israel has from the beginning been with one hand extended in friendship–and the other held behind the back with a knife–periodically reaching around and stabbing Israel in the back.

    Mitt Romney is a RINO, he is a Marxist globalist–but he does not want to completely destroy the USA and the American way of life–as Barack H. Obama has clearly demonstrated he does want to destroy America and Israel; Romney is not near as bad as Barack H. Obama–as such he will be much better–and he is the only one who can win this time around–we all need to vote for Mitt Romney–Israel and the American people can not take another four years of Barack H. Obama–the man caused disaster!

  9. @ James B – Montreal:

    My personal opinion of presidential politics is to always vote for the Presidential opposition. No 2 term president is good for Israel.

    Usually a single term president has about two years to hurt Israel but is tempered by ambitions to be re-elected. Takes up to a year to put a defined policy in-place and the last two years are already in the re-election cycle. No President even Obama can do much hurt to Israel in a year and a half. Most of the time the big push and most damage comes in the second term.

    Based on the above I would choose Romney but with no expectations he would be an improvement over Obama and automatically vote against him if he runs for re-election.

  10. @ Ted Belman:
    @ Ted Belman:

    I am not attacking you?

    Just pointing out…Your statement could have equally applied to GW Bush or Obama as Candidates and even to speeches while holding the office of POTUS, as I have shown in the clips above.

    By acknowledging he was in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, Romney embraced the reality and flew in the face of a 60 year old American policy.

    So, along comes Romney and says otherwise. Is he simply making a statement to show solidarity with Israel or is he intending to reverse the US position should he become President. Of necessity then, he would have no excuse not to move the US embassy to the western part of Jerusalem where the Knesset and most government offices are. Or would he continue in the paths of other Presidents in not moving the embassy to Jerusalem because the timing was not right or some other excuse. Without such a move, his declaration is meaningless. Considering his many foreign policy advisors, who are on the right, I believe he knew what he was doing.

    His foreign policy advisers were mostly the advisers of GW Bush or served in some capacity in his two administrations. Obama is simply continuing the Policy he inherited from Bush.

    Let’s assume for the moment that Romney will buck the historic American position re: Jerusalem and Israel and recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital and move their Embassy to Jerusalem. Knowing America as we do what trade off quid pro-quo would be demanded from Israel?

    Since we are speculating lets speculate that the price that would be demanded of us might be too high a price for us to pay.

  11. The bedrock issue is that the model, template, jig, framework,,, for the way Western govts have been designed; ie., US senate and Congress and POTUS; the gang of 536, is broken and inadequate to resolve issues.

    I see many shades of Bush JR in Romney. After 6 years in office, Bush could not wait to get out. His last two years were pathetic. The last 4 years of watching the current American govt in action and its obvious loathing of Israel by this muslim sympathizer is too painful to endure.

    Yes we want Romney only because the rat in charge now is a rat and we all see that his actions are to purposefully damage the USA and the West. We are not looking for Romney to be a saviour. We all know that American industry is gone and I doubt will return without a bloody revolution. But I do not detect anything terribly duplicit in Romney as I always did with Obama, Holder, Brennan, Van Jones, Chas Freeman, Powers and Hitlery. Biden is the modern version of a Lord HawHaw or Baghdad Bob. There for comic relief.

  12. yamit82 Said:

    your support for Romney and expecting he will behave differently than all previous Presidents re: Israel is totally in the fantasy world of wishful thinking.

    I said no such thing.

  13. By acknowledging he was in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, Romney embraced the reality and ?flew in the face of a 60 year old American policy. ?

    Some people even seeming intelligent ones never learn. I know you want Obama gone but your support for Romney and expecting he will behave differently than all previous Presidents re: Israel is totally in the fantasy world of wishful thinking.

    Obama: Jerusalem must remain undivided, Israeli capital

    Raw Video: Obama Tours Western Wall

    Obama: Jerusalem Will Be Israel’s Capital

    There is no good reason to believe Romney will be any better for Israel than any other American President and looking back based only on the facts they were all bad for Israel. Politicians will do anything and say anything to get elected and raise money.

    If you don’t hold their feet to the fire before they are elected don’t complain afterwards when it’s too late.

    Recently both Bush and now Obama should have provided proof that as far as Israel is concerned it matters little who is elected both parties and their candidates will stick it to Israel for money, and underlying anti Jewish hatred and at best apathetic disregard that permeates every western country.