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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

December 3, 2013 - 1:46 pm

In the latest six-month interval required under law, President Obama this afternoon used executive authority to suspend once again a 1995 bill requiring the government to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

And over at his State Department, press materials surrounding the secretary’s trip this week stated cities only — breaking from convention in which destinations are noted by country — to avoid saying that Jerusalem is part of Israel.

“I hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months the limitations set forth in sections 3(b) and 7(b) of the Act,” Obama said in a short memorandum to the secretary of State that copies the exact language from past orders.

Under the act, which was overwhelmingly approved in House and Senate, the Embassy was supposed to be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by May 31, 1999.

George W. Bush suspended the requirements of the bill, too, but always included this sentence in his memos: “My Administration remains committed to beginning the process of moving our embassy to Jerusalem.”

This State Department, on the other hand, released a press advisory in 2012 that noted an official’s travel to “Jerusalem and Israel.” That renewed calls from Congress for Obama to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

After that flub, a reporter asked then-spokeswoman Victoria Nuland if it’s the State Department’s position that Jerusalem is not part of Israel.

“Well, you know that our position on Jerusalem has not changed,” Nuland responded. “The first Media Note was issued in error without appropriate clearances. We reissued the note to make clear that Under Secretary – Acting Under Secretary for R, Kathy Stephens, will be traveling to Algiers, Doha, Amman, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem. With regard to our Jerusalem policy, it’s a permanent status issue; it’s got to be resolved through negotiations between the parties.”

When grilled further about what the capital of Israel is, Nuland replied, “Our Embassy, as you know, is located in Tel Aviv.”

This practice seemed to be put in place — name just cities to avoid having to commit to assigning them to a country — when announcing Secretary of State John Kerry’s schedule last week.

Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Brussels, Chisinau, Jerusalem and Ramallah from December 3 to 6.

In Brussels, Secretary Kerry will attend the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Foreign Ministerial and associated meetings December 3-4.

In Chisinau, Secretary Kerry will meet with senior Moldovan officials. He will discuss bilateral issues, as well as Moldova’s path toward European integration.

In Jerusalem, Secretary Kerry will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss a range of issues including Iran and the negotiations with the Palestinians. In Ramallah, Secretary Kerry will meet with President Abbas where he will also discuss the ongoing final status negotiations, among other issues.

Conversely, an Oct. 11 press release named countries: “Secretary Kerry Travel to Afghanistan, France, United Kingdom.”

A Sept. 5 press release was on “Secretary Kerry’s Travel to Lithuania, France, and the United Kingdom.”

An Aug. 8 press release noted “Secretary of State John Kerry’s Travel to Colombia and Brazil.”

And a July 31 release said: “Secretary Kerry Travel to Islamabad, Pakistan and London, United Kingdom.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
The day is approaching when Obama and Kerry will announce that they will visit Jerusalem...but not Israel.

This makes Iran very happy
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do,,,,,,, http://www.jobs35.com
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since Obama's arrival on the political scene I have thought that the first question any potential candidate for President should be asked is this. "Do you support Israel with Jerusalem as it's eternal and undivided capital? Yes or no."

The answer to this question could spare us a lot of problems down the road.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
In 2008 Obama said yes to this. Then he said no once he realized what he'd said. You can't win.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Political correctness has seized these idiots brains up so hard that an itinerary that includes the name of the country 'Israel' cannot be printed out!

Well hey! At least we're not offending the mullahs! Just anyone with a brain - which I suppose is the reason progressives are not offended by this simpleton act.


37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Better move the US Embassy to Jerusalem to avoid its destruction when Iranians nuke Tel Aviv.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whose to say those crazy mullahs won't drop one on Jerusalem also? Since when have Muslims desisted from destroying *anything* -- including, of course, other Muslims?
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Islam's third (?) most sacred mosque is in Jerusalem, just beside the Wailing Wall. Besides, they want Jerusalem as the capital of the eventual state of Palestine (when Israel and its Jewish population have been destroyed). I doubt destroying Jerusalem is an option they will consider.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The day is approaching when Obama and Kerry will announce that they will visit Jerusalem...but not Israel.

This makes Iran very happy
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are other groups out there, ' Christian' in nature (Barnabasaid for example) that go out of their way to contort themselves into pretzels. Look at the countries they are actively aiding....evey country is by name, but come to Israel, it disappears, renamed Holy Land or who knows what.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Horace Manewer
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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