US PRESIDENT BUSH ONCE AGAIN BLOCKS EMBASSY MOVE TO JERUSALEM
U.S. President Bush has, once again, suspended the relocation of the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Israel's capital, Jerusalem. Asserting that US national security will be harmed if he implements the US law requiring the move, Bush signed yet another six-month security waiver.
Congress overwhelmingly approved the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act in 1995, mandating that the Embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by May 1999 and that the US recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Former US President Bill Clinton, who promised in both of his presidential campaigns to move the embassy, signed successive six-month security waivers, thus passing on the "hot potato" to his successor.
During the 2000 election campaign Bush pledged that if he was elected, he would "begin the process" of moving the embassy to Jerusalem on his "first day in office." He has not done so, however - though he wrote this week to the Secretary of State, "My Administration remains committed to beginning the process of moving our embassy to Jerusalem."
After the failed Camp David talks in July 2000, Clinton suggested in an interview with Israeli television that he was considering moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. "I have always wanted to do it. I've always thought it was the right thing to do. But I didn't want to do anything to undermine the peace process ... But it's something that I have taken under review now because of the recent events," Clinton told the Israeli public. In reaction, Hizbullah terror chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah threatened the US that he would "turn your embassy into rubble and return your diplomats in coffins."
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has sharply criticized the continued failure to implement the Embassy Relocation Act. "The failure to recognize Jerusalem is a violation of US law and a blatant surrender to Arab terrorist threats," ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said. "At a time when America is engaged in a life-or-death struggle with terrorists worldwide, it is especially important to implement US law on Jerusalem and thereby send a message to terrorists everywhere that America will not capitulate to their blackmail. It is President Bush's refusal to move the embassy which could undermine national security because it encourages terrorists to believe that threats and violence will force the US to change its policies." Arutz-7 - 6-18-04