Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton requesting the official position of the Obama Administration on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
"While Israel faces numerous security threats in an increasingly unstable and uncertain Middle East, the Obama Administration has failed to stand behind our ally. I believe that President Obama and his administration's doublespeak on the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is dangerous and detrimental given the existential threats that surround Israel. In recent press conferences, the State Department and the White House have refused to clarify President Obama's position on Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Just last evening, and only after uproar from the American people, the Democrats rushed to clarify the status of Jerusalem in their party's platform. Unlike President Obama, I believe that our commitment to Israel should be unwavering and not based on cheap political gamesmanship. I hope this letter to Secretary Clinton will provide the Obama administration the opportunity to clarify their official position on this important issue once and for all."
The complete text of the letter to Secretary Clinton is below:
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Department of State
2201 C Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Secretary Clinton:
As unrest and instability continues in the Middle East, the United States must remain steadfast in its support of our friend and firm ally, Israel. As many recognize, it is vital for regional stability that we promote and protect our nations' shared democratic values. As such, President Obama and his administration must be firm and clear in their support and commitment to Israel. Sadly, recent statements made by the administration have led to much confusion regarding our nation's position on Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. Most recently, the State Department and White House have issued conflicting statements regarding Jerusalem's status.
During a March 30, 2012 press conference, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland dodged repeated questions from the press as to the status of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, asserting instead that it is an issue to be "settled through negotiations" and refusing to discuss the administration's position on the capital of Israel. On July 26, 2012, White House spokesman Jay Carney also engaged in a similar exchange with the press, refusing to state definitively that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
On September 5, 2012, following uproar in the press and among the American people, the President ordered a statement be inserted into the Democratic policy platform at the Democratic National Convention, clarifying that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. This statement was adopted by the convention's delegates.
These conflicting statements and positions beg the question: what is the official position of President Obama in regards to Jerusalem's status? Does the administration now recognize Jerusalem's status as the undivided and uncontested capital of the Jewish State, and will our embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? My constituents, the American people, and our friend and ally Israel deserve clarification on this matter.
Rep. Scott Garrett