ZOA letter in Kansas City Jewish Chronicle About Sen. Brownback and Jerusalem
ZOA in the news
November 27, 2009



The editorial in the Nov. 13 Chronicle concerning Sen. Brownback was inappropriate and frankly, misguided. It would not have been surprising for an anti-Israel newspaper to criticize this pro-Israel action by one of the most pro-Israel senators, but for a Jewish newspaper to do so is shameful. Sen. Brownback’s S. 2737, to require the U.S. Embassy to be moved to Jerusalem and to remove the presidential waiver that has been wrongly invoked by Democratic and Republican presidents alike, is long overdue. For a Christian like Sen. Brownback to be the champion of this measure is a tribute to his love for Israel and his wisdom in foreign policy.

The continued non-recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel gives comfort to our enemies, makes them believe that the U.S. can force Israel to take positions against its fundamental interests, and implies that the status of Jerusalem is still debatable.

The U.S. hasn’t moved its Embassy since the original Jerusalem law was enacted in 1995, which has not in any way improved the possibilities of peace. In fact, we’ve only gotten the worst terror war in Israel’s history and the terrorist group Hamas in power in Gaza.

Moving the U.S. Embassy would not, as is often claimed in defense of the use of the waiver, complicate our ability to advance towards peace. It is the Palestinian refusal to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state within any borders and with any capital and their promotion of hatred and murder of Israelis in every organ of their culture that prevents peace.
The U.S. should not be appeasing these forces by refusing to move its Embassy.

The refusal of U.S. presidents to move our Embassy to Jerusalem actually harms the cause of peace by sending a message to Palestinian Arab and Islamist terrorists — that their use and threat of terrorism pays and even intimidates the United States into submission to their demands. This only encourages more terrorism. This policy is detrimental to our international war against Islamist terrorists. It also harms Israel’s long-standing position that Jerusalem is its capital.

The editorial fails to make clear why Jews should be against having the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Its printing in a Jewish newspaper brings to mind the question of Rabbi Hillel: If we are not for ourselves, who will be for us?

Daniel Pollak, co-director
Government relations
Zionist Organization of America
Washington, D.C.


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