ZOA Criticizes Bush Administration’s Latest Attempt To Block U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital
February 20, 2004

NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized the Bush administration’s latest efforts to prevent the implementation of U.S. laws requiring American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In a court case in Washington last week, the State Department said that because Jerusalem is a “sensitive foreign policy issue,” it does not have to list “Jerusalem, Israel” as the birthplace of American citizens born in Jerusalem.

At present, a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem has the word “Jerusalem,” with no country listed, stamped on his passport as his or her place of birth. But in 2002, Congress passed legislation specifically requiring that “Israel” be added after “Jerusalem” on the passport of any Jerusalem- born U.S. citizen who requests it. The legislation does not say that the requirement can be waived if Jerusalem is deemed “a sensitive foreign policy issue.”

Meanwhile, the Bush administration listed the Jerusalem-passport requirement in its recent budget request to Congress, but placed it in brackets to indicate that the administration is not requesting funds to implement those provisions. This move is consistent with the administration’s ongoing refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in defiance of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act, which requires such U.S. recognition.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “Bush has reneged on his pledge to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and this step is another demonstration of that broken pledge. The failure to recognize Jerusalem is a violation of U.S. law and a blatant surrender to Arab terrorist threats. At a time when America is engaged in a life-or-death struggle with terrorists worldwide, it is especially important to implement U.S. law on Jerusalem and thereby send a message to terrorists everywhere that America will not capitulate to their blackmail.”

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