Saturday, November 7, 2009
Are you ready for this? Here’s a list of United States Senators who today walk the halls of Congress holding their heads high.
In a place where courage, independence and common sense have been in remarkably short supply, here are the Senate Seven who dare to speak out for Israel:
Senator Sam Brownback, R-Kansas
Senator Jim Bunning, R- Kentucky
Senator John Cornyn, R- Texas
Senator James Inhofe. R- Oklahoma
Senator Jon Kyl, R- Arizona
Senator Joseph Lieberman, I – Connecticut
Senator David Vitter, R- Louisiana
What did they do? They’ve decided that Israel should be allowed to designate Jerusalem as its national capitol.
Pretty earth shaking, wouldn’t you say?
May not sound like it, but it is. Up to now, for 61 years, Israel has not been granted that right, most especially because of the series of lily-livers who’ve occupied the White House.
On November 2, Sen. Sam Brownback introduced S. 2737 and six co-sponsors signed on immediately. S 2737 is quite simple -- it abolishes the “security waiver” that US presidents have used to prevent implementing a 1995 law that declared that Israel’s holiest city and eternal city, Jerusalem, is the capital of Israel.
"It is long overdue for America to recognize the sovereign right of Israel to choose Jerusalem as its capital city,” Sen. Brownback said.
Here’s the backstory:
In 1948, when Israel became a state it established Jerusalem as its official capital. We built the Knesset, Supreme Court and other government buildings there, but until after the Six Day War in 1967, when Israel recaptured the entire city, most government business was transacted in Tel Aviv.
In 1967 we officially annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem and requested international recognition for Jerusalem as our capital city.
Most governments -- including the US – ignored us. They continue to maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv in deference to Arab claims over Jerusalem. Hostile Arab governments refer to "the Tel-Aviv government" because they regard Jerusalem as theirs.
Worse than just keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv, however, is the fact that the US simply refuses to recognize any part of Jerusalem as a part of the Israel. For example, Americans who are born anywhere in Jerusalem cannot register their country of birth as Israel.
What supercilious nonsense! Why can’t a child born in Jerusalem, of all places, be allowed to list “Israel” as his place of birth on his US passport? Yet under long-standing US practice, a child born in Jerusalem lists only the city – Jerusalem – as his birthplace, with no country designated at all.
In the mind of the US’s Arabist bureaucrats, Jerusalem isn’t located in any country.
In any event, thanks to US Jewish groups and a strong cohort of Christian sympathizers, in 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which required the US embassy to be relocated to Jerusalem.
It didn't work. Successive presidents -- George Bush the First, then Bubba, then George Bush the Second, and now of course the Community Organizer –chose to ignore the congressional mandate, saying it was “advisory” only.
But wait – it gets better. The 1995 law set forth the official policy of the US toward Jerusalem: that it would remain a united city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.
It also recognized Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, and specified that no later than May 31, 1999, the US embassy would be relocated to Jerusalem. It even set forth a penalty: 50% of the money used to maintain embassies abroad could not be spent if the US Embassy weren’t open in Jerusalem by May 31, 1999. It had accountability, too. Every six months, the Secretary of State was required to report progress to Congress regarding the relocation of the embassy.
So for ten years, every six months, under the two Presidents Bush, Bubba and now the Community Organizer, waivers were issued, saying, in effect, that “national security” issues prevented the move.
Congress tried again in 2002. They included a section in H.R.1646, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, to again force the US to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the embassy there.
Still nothing happened.
So now Sam Brownback and his band of merry men are trying again, this time by taking away the excuse of the “security waiver”.
Obviously the Community Organizer’s administration will fight this tooth and nail. Still, for an administration that likes to point to “facts on the ground”, you don’t get much better “facts” than the existence of Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol. And with Arab terrorist missiles now able to reach Tel Aviv, there’s no reason to insist that American embassy employees will be any more secure in Tel Aviv than Jerusalem.
So kol hakavod – much honor and respect – to the Senate Seven, who dare, at this most dangerous time in Israel’s history – to make public their support.
“I will bless those who bless you
And curse him that curses you;
And all the families of the earth
Shall bless themselves by you." Genesis 12:3
Thanks to www.mideastweb.org for the historical details.