The Arab and Muslim groups in Washington are quite pathetic in not only their weaknesses, but also in how they have been terribly co-opted and self-marginalized. They did little useful or effective to block what has happened; and now they are once again telling their few followers to
'call your Congressman'. Here's the summary part of what has happened in recent days with regard to Jerusalem from one of these groups:
AMERICAN MUSLIMS FOR JERUSALEM
Urgent Action: Oppose Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's Capital
Yesterday, President Bush signed a bill that in effect recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2003, which gives the Administration more than $4 billion to run the State Department, passed Congress with highly controversial provisions that reverse long-standing US policy on the question of Jerusalem. The Act calls on the President to immediately begin moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as called for in the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. Since 1995 this legislation has included a presidential waiver allowing the president to delay the move. The waiver was not included this time, and three additional harmful clauses were added:
1) Funds authorized may not be expended for the operation of a US consulate in Jerusalem unless it is under the supervision of the US Ambassador to Israel.
2) Funds may not be available for the publication of any official government document which lists countries and their capital cities unless the publication identifies Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
3) For purposes of the registration of birth, certification of nationality, or issuance of a passport of a United States citizen born in the city of Jerusalem, the Secretary shall, upon the request of the citizen or the citizen's legal guardian, record the place of birth as Israel.
"U.S. policy regarding Jerusalem has not changed," President Bush said in a statement after signing the Act. The President made clear that his administration would not follow the Jerusalem provisions of the legislation, known as "Section 214," because it views them as advisory and not mandatory. The resolution, Bush said, "would, if construed as mandatory rather than advisory, impermissibly interfere with the president's constitutional authority to formulate the position of the United States, speak for the nation in international affairs, and determine the terms on which recognition is given to foreign states."
Had President Bush chosen not to sign this bill, the State Department would face a shutdown of US diplomatic activity at one of the most sensitive times in our recent history. This is one more example of the extent to which Israel-firsters in the US Congress are willing to go to serve the interests of the state of Israel before the interests of the United States.