Magazine article The Christian Century

U.S. Embassy to Stay in Tel Aviv

Magazine article The Christian Century

U.S. Embassy to Stay in Tel Aviv

Article excerpt

President Clinton's decision to block plans to relocate the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has gained the support of liberal American Jews, as well as the condemnation of more conservative ones. In 1995 Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation mandating the embassy move by June 1999. But the law also contained a waiver provision that allowed Clinton to block the move on national security grounds.

Running for the presidency in 1992, Clinton promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem, which most countries do not recognize as Israel's capital but rather as disputed territory under international law. Once in office, Clinton said moving the embassy would complicate Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. On June 18 Clinton invoked the waiver to block the embassy move.

The Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, a liberal group, said that while it believes "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel," there are "nevertheless understandable reasons not to force a decision on moving the embassy at this precise moment. …

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