JERUSALEM EMBASSY ACT OF 1995; Congressional Record Vol. 141, No. 165
(House of Representatives - October 24, 1995)

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[Pages H10680-H10689]
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                     JERUSALEM EMBASSY ACT OF 1995

  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
Senate bill (S. 1322) to provide for the relocation of the United 
States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and for other purposes.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Jerusalem Embassy Act of 
     1995''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       The Congress makes the following findings:
       (1) Each sovereign nation, under international law and 
     custom, may designate its own capital.
       (2) Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital 
     of the State of Israel.
       (3) The city of Jerusalem is the seat of Israel's 
     President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the site of 
     numerous government ministries and social and cultural 
     institutions.
       (4) The city of Jerusalem is the spiritual center of 
     Judaism, and is also considered a holy city by the members of 
     other religious faiths.
       (5) From 1948-1967, Jerusalem was a divided city and 
     Israeli citizens of all faiths as well as Jewish citizens of 
     all states were denied access to holy sites in the area 
     controlled by Jordan.
       (6) In 1967, the city of Jerusalem was reunited during the 
     conflict known as the Six Day War.
       (7) Since 1967, Jerusalem has been a united city 
     administered by Israel, and persons of all religious faiths 
     have been guaranteed full access to holy sites within the 
     city.
       (8) This year marks the 28th consecutive year that 
     Jerusalem has been administered as a unified city in which 
     the rights of all faiths have been respected and 
     protected.
       (9) In 1990, the Congress unanimously adopted Senate 
     Concurrent Resolution 106, which declares that the Congress 
     ``strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided 
     city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group 
     are protected''.
       (10) In 1992, the United States Senate and House of 
     Representatives unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent 
     Resolution 113 of the One Hundred Second Congress to 
     commemorate the 25th anniversary of the reunification of 
     Jerusalem, and reaffirming congressional sentiment that 
     Jerusalem must remain an undivided city.
       (11) The September 13, 1993, Declaration of Principles on 
     Interim Self-Government Arrangements lays out a timetable for 
     the resolution of ``final status'' issues, including 
     Jerusalem.
       (12) The Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area 
     was signed May 4, 1994, beginning the five-year transitional 
     period laid out in the Declaration of Principles.
       (13) In March of 1995, 93 members of the United States 
     Senate signed a letter to Secretary of State Warren 
     Christopher encouraging ``planning to begin now'' for 
     relocation of the United States Embassy to the city of 
     Jerusalem.
       (14) In June of 1993, 257 members of the United States 
     House of Representatives signed a letter to the Secretary of 
     State Warren Christopher stating that the relocation of the 
     United States Embassy to Jerusalem ``should take place no 
     later than . . . 1999''.
       (15) The United States maintains its embassy in the 
     functioning capital of every country except in the case of 
     our democratic friend and strategic ally, the State of 
     Israel.
       (16) The United States conducts official meetings and other 
     business in the city of Jerusalem in de facto recognition of 
     its status as the capital of Israel.
       (17) In 1996, the State of Israel will celebrate their 
     3,000th anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since 
     King David's entry.

     SEC. 3. TIMETABLE.

       (a) Statement of the Policy of the United States.--
       (1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the 
     rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected;
       (2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the 
     State of Israel; and
       (3) the United States Embassy in Israel should be 
     established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.
       (b) Opening Determination.--Not more than 50 percent of the 
     funds appropriated to the Department of State for fiscal year 
     1999 for ``Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad'' 
     may be obligated until the Secretary of State determines and 
     reports to Congress that the United States Embassy in 
     Jerusalem has officially opened.

     SEC. 4. FISCAL YEARS 1996 AND 1997 FUNDING.

       (a) Fiscal Year 1996.--Of the funds authorized to be 
     appropriated for ``Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings 
     Abroad'' for the Department of State in fiscal year 1996, not 
     less than $25,000,000 should be made available until expended 
     only for construction and other costs associated with the 
     establishment of the United States Embassy in Israel in the 
     capital of Jerusalem.
       (b) Fiscal Year 1997.--Of the funds authorized to be 
     appropriated for ``Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings 
     Abroad'' for the Department of State in fiscal year 1997, not 
     less than $75,000,000 should be made available until expended 
     only for construction and other costs associated with the 
     establishment of the United States Embassy in Israel in 
     the capital of Jerusalem.

     SEC. 5. REPORT ON IMPLEMENTATION.

       Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this 
     Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the 
     Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
     Foreign Relations of the Senate detailing the Department of 
     State's plan to implement this Act. Such report shall 
     include--
       (1) estimated dates of completion for each phase of the 
     establishment of the United States Embassy, including site 
     identification, land acquisition, architectural, engineering 
     and construction surveys, site preparation, and construction; 
     and
       (2) an estimate of the funding necessary to implement this 
     Act, including all costs associated with establishing the 
     United States Embassy in Israel in the capital of Jerusalem.

     SEC. 6. SEMIANNUAL REPORTS.

       At the time of the submission of the President's fiscal 
     year 1997 budget request, and every six months thereafter, 
     the Secretary of State shall report to the Speaker of the 
     House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign 
     Relations of the Senate on the progress made toward opening 
     the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.

     SEC. 7. PRESIDENTIAL WAIVER.

       (a) Waiver Authority.--(1) Beginning on October 1, 1998, 
     the President may suspend the limitation set forth in section 
     3(b) for a period of six months if he determines and reports 
     to Congress in advance that such suspension is necessary to 
     protect the national security interests of the United States.
       (2) The President may suspend such limitation for an 
     additional six month period at the end of any period during 
     which the suspension is in effect under this subsection if 
     the President determines and reports to Congress in advance 
     of the additional suspension that the additional suspension 
     is necessary to protect the national security interests of 
     the United States.
       (3) A report under paragraph (1) or (2) shall include--
       (A) a statement of the interests affected by the limitation 
     that the President seeks to suspend; and
       (B) a discussion of the manner in which the limitation 
     affects the interests.
       (b) Applicability of Waiver to Availability of Funds.--If 
     the President exercises the authority set forth in subsection 
     (a) in a fiscal year, the limitation set forth in section 
     3(b) shall apply to funds appropriated in the following 
     fiscal year for the purpose set forth in such section 3(b) 
     except to the extent that the limitation is suspended in such 
     following 

[[Page H 10681]]
     fiscal year by reason of the exercise of the authority in subsection 
     (a).

     SEC. 8. DEFINITION.

       As used in this Act, the term ``United States Embassy'' 
     means the offices of the United States diplomatic mission and 
     the residence of the United States chief of mission.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from New 
York, [Mr. Gilman] will be recognized for 20 minutes, and the gentleman 
from Indiana [Mr. Hamilton] will be recognized for 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York [Mr. Gilman].
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the legislation pending before us today, S. 1322 would 
move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 
This has been a priority of many in Congress for decades. Each time the 
issue was raised, successive administrations maintained that Congress 
was infringing on the Executive's power to conduct foreign policy, or 
that the hopes and dreams for peace in the Middle East rested on this 
one issue.
  Under the Speaker's leadership, and that of Senate majority leader 
Dole, legislation was introduced which is finally seeing the light of 
day, and which we fully expect will become law. Original sponsors of 
H.R. 1595, Speaker Gingrich's legislation, in addition to myself, Mr. 
Horn, Mr. Lazio, Mr. Zimmer, Mr. Smith of New Jersey, Mr. Weller, Mr. 
DeLay, Mr. Paxon, Mr. Solomon, Mr. McIntosh, Ms. Molinari, Mr. Hastert, 
Mr. Archer, Mrs. Myrick, Mr. Nussle, Mrs. Vucanovich, Mr. Barr, Mr. 
Torkildsen, and Mr. Burton of Indiana.
  This measure, the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, makes a series of 
findings, concluding with stipulation that it is the policy of the 
United States that ``Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which 
the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected; Jerusalem 
should be recognized as the capital of the state of Israel; and the 
United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no 
later than May 31, 1999.''
  In negotiations with the administration and other opponents on the 
original bill, this revised measure does contain a 6 month, renewal 
Presidential waiver based on national security interests. I question 
this inclusion, since the waiver authority does not end on a date 
certain, and the standard being employed is inappropriate.
  Congress does not intend for the President to utilize this waiver 
indefinitely, nor should the employment of such a waiver, on national 
security grounds, be invoked lightly. Frankly, it is preposterous that 
a national security waiver is being employed. The national security 
interests of the United States are not threatened because our Embassy 
is located 40 miles from where Congress and the American people believe 
it ought to be. The legislation is clear that congressional intent is 
for our Embassy in Jerusalem to be established no later than May 31, 
1999.

  This bill is important because it rectifies an imbalance in our 
relationship with Israel--a nation that has shown itself to be, time 
and time again, the best friend that the United States has in the 
world, bar none.
  When Saddam Hussein was raining Scud missiles throughout Israel, 
Israel did not retaliate, abiding by the United States request not to 
do so. To those cynics who may believe that Israel complied because of 
United States foreign assistance, I say--no moral nation, especially 
one that was born out of the ashes of the Holocaust as Israel was, will 
sacrifice its people for any sum of money.
  But, a nation that has proven its friendship and reliability over the 
decades, as Israel has, often suppressing its own national interests in 
favor of ours, especially when the very lives of its own citizens is at 
stake, deserves our particular American brand of loyalty. There is 
nothing more basic than recognizing the capital of a country, which is 
why I strongly endorse this bill.
  Since 1967, when Israel reunified Jerusalem, access for the three 
major religions, an American priority, became the norm. It is only 
under Israel that each religion has had free access to their holy 
places as well as control over them. In 1969, Secretary of State 
William Rogers modified United States policy further by stating that 
Jerusalem should remain a unified city, a point made repeatedly by 
subsequent administrations.
  Administration officials maintain that the United States should not 
move our Embassy until negotiations have taken place on Jerusalem. This 
policy infers that such a move would demonstrate a preference for one 
of the parties, and that the U.S. role as honest broker would be 
compromised. But, United States policy on Jerusalem changed both before 
and after the onset of the peace talks in 1991.
  In January 1989, the United States signed a 99-year lease with the 
Government of Israel at $1 per year for a 14-acre site in southwest 
Jerusalem. The Middle East peace process did not collapse when it was 
disclosed that the site had been chosen. That action, 6 years ago, did 
not prevent the Madrid peace talks from convening, did not prevent them 
from moving forward, and did not prevent the various agreements Israel 
signed with the PLO or its peace treaty with Jordan.

  Another departure from previous U.S. policy took place in March 1994. 
In prior instances, the United States had supported U.N. resolutions 
claiming Jerusalem to be ``occupied territory''. That month the United 
States insisted on voting paragraph by paragraph on U.N. Resolution 
904, considered in the aftermath of the Hebron massacre.
  On language pertaining to Jerusalem, the United States abstained. 
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright 
explained that Jerusalem was improperly included in the resolution as 
occupied territory and that the United States would continue to oppose 
including Jerusalem in this category.
  It is not a major departure from existing U.S. policy to support 
moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by 1999, which is 
what the legislation being considered today proposes to do. The 
administration, Israel, Jordan, and the PLO have all stated that the 
peace process is irreversible.
  This past spring, along with other Members of the House, I circulated 
a letter to Secretary of State Christopher, expressing support for 
Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, noting that with 
negotiations on Jerusalem expected to begin in May 1996, discussion 
should begin in order to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv 
to Jerusalem by May 1999, when the negotiations are expected to end. 
Two Hundred fifty-seven Members of the House signed that letter, 
another resounding measure of support from Congress to move the 
embassy.
  Unfortunately, no response was received from the Secretary of State, 
and no attempt at outreach to discuss the letter's contents was made by 
the administration.
  Congress today has the opportunity of expressing its support through 
the adoption of this legislation that would relocate our embassy to 
Jerusalem no later than 1999. I urge my colleague's strong support for 
this legislation, despite the inclusion of the waiver language. Moving 
our embassy in Israel is something the United States should have done 
in 1948. We have an historic opportunity today to right a wrong, to 
rectify an imbalance against one of our staunchest allies. Accordingly, 
I urge strong support of this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 5 minutes.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose S. 1322, the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 
1995.
  I do so reluctantly because I share the goal of the legislation--
eventually moving our embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, 
which is and has been Israel's capital since the founding of the state 
in 1948.
  I do so reluctantly also because the bill before us is a vast 
improvement over the bill introduced by the Speaker and the Senate 
majority leader a few months ago. It now contains a Presidential 
waiver, which allows the President to delay relocating the embassy if 
he decides it is in the national security interest of the United States 
to do so.


                        i. problems with process

  I am deeply disturbed about the manner in which the bill comes to the 
floor today.
  The House cannot be proud of the process we are following: No 
hearings were held; no committee consideration occurred; the 
administration was not 

[[Page H 10682]]
given a chance to state its case before the Members; few Members will 
be allowed to speak today; no amendments are in order; the bill was 
placed on the suspension calendar without consulting the minority; and 
no opportunity has been given to assess the impact of this bill on the 
fragile peace process.
  In the past, decisions about whether bills would be considered under 
suspension of the rules were a matter of comity. The majority's 
conference rules specifically require that the minority agree before 
bills are placed on the suspension calendar.
  Those rules were violated here.
  We demean the role of the House in the making of American foreign 
policy by the quick and cursory handling of this sensitive and 
difficult issue.
  The politics of this bill. This bill is being rushed through the 
House today. We should understand why.
  The President has not requested it. No emergency requires immediate 
legislative action. A decision about where to locate U.S. diplomatic 
missions is inherently an executive branch decision--it goes to the 
President's constitutional responsibilities for the conduct of 
diplomacy.
  The Government of Israel has not requested it. There is no urgency 
about this issue for Israel, either. Jerusalem is and has been Israel's 
capital since the founding of the State, regardless of where the U.S. 
Embassy is located.
  This bill is being rushed through the Congress today for reasons of 
domestic politics, not foreign policy. The chief sponsors of this bill 
simply want to present this bill to the Prime Minister of Israel and 
the Mayor of Jerusalem when they arrive for a ceremony in the Capitol 
rotunda tomorrow.
  This bill is a classic congressional foreign policy maneuver. We pass 
this bill to win political and financial support.
  Yet we in Congress are unwilling to act decisively. This bill sets a 
date for the transfer of the Embassy. Then, a few sentences later, it 
steps back and hands the problem to the President by giving him a 
waiver.
  We have it both ways. We pretend that we are acting, but we are 
really tossing the problem into the President's lap with a waiver. We 
get the domestic political advantage, but the President must take the 
responsibility.


                      II. PROBLEMS WITH SUBSTANCE

  The final status of Jerusalem is not an isolated problem. It is part 
of the entire web of issues in the Middle East conflict. Those issues 
must be resolved in the context of a just and lasting settlement of the 
conflict. It must be resolved by the parties themselves.
  I quote from Secretary Christopher:

       There is no issue related to the Arab-Israeli negotiations 
     that is more sensitive than Jerusalem. It is precisely for 
     this reason that any effort by Congress to bring it to the 
     forefront is ill-advised and potentially very damaging to the 
     success of the peace process.

  The issue of Jerusalem has been left for the final status 
negotiations, which start in May 1996. The Congress should not 
jeopardize negotiations on this key issue, which we may do by this 
bill. Jerusalem has been left until last: Because of the strong 
emotions it engenders; because of the controversy it promotes; and 
because of the necessity to build confidence among the parties in any 
proposed solution of the Jerusalem issue.
  Unilateral efforts to predetermine a particular outcome for Jerusalem 
has the potential to damage the peace process. That is precisely the 
risk we run today.
  A few examples are worth noting:
  In 1978, the Camp David negotiations nearly came unglued when the 
parties--the United States, Israel, and Egypt--tried to hammer out a 
simple joint statement on Jerusalem;
  In 1980, Israel proclaimed the Jerusalem law which made Jerusalem 
Israel's eternal and undivided capital. It was, from Israel's 
viewpoint, a natural and right step. But what happened? Thirteen of the 
fifteen embassies then in Jerusalem moved out;
  In 1984, Congress considered several resolutions to relocate the U.S. 
Embassy to Jerusalem. According to the Israeli press, Prime Ministers 
Begin and Shamir, successively, asked key Senators involved to desist, 
lest the ensuing political storm work to Israel's detriment;
  More recently, the Israeli Government attempted to confiscate land in 
the Jerusalem area. Once confronted with the damage this move did to 
the credibility of the peace process, the Israeli Government 
backtracked. The Israelis simply misjudged the Jordanian reaction and 
the fragility of the peace process when the issue of Jerusalem was 
pushed to center stage.
  The point of reciting these examples is to show that unilateral and 
provocative actions on Jerusalem can hurt the peace process and 
Israel's interests.
  At this critical juncture in the peace process, when progress is 
being made, all sides should seek to avoid provocative acts: The 
Government of Israel has now resolved to avoid confiscation of Arab 
land in Jerusalem for housing purposes; the Palestinian Authority, too, 
should avoid provocation involving, for example, trying to use 
buildings in Jerusalem for its own activities; and the United States 
should step back from this resolution and other acts which can disrupt 
the peace talks.
  The peace process represents the best chance for a comprehensive 
peace in the Middle East. I want it to go forward. I do not want to put 
obstacles in the way, or to make the tasks of the negotiators more 
difficult.
  I am sometimes frustrated by the slow pace of the peace process. But 
I believe, there is no substitute for the fragile--and so far 
successful--process we now are trying to promote.
  The daily interaction of Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem--and the 
acknowledged religious rights of Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the 
heart of the city--require a solution based on mutual trust. Confidence 
between Israelis and Palestinians is building slowly. Let's not risk 
tearing it apart with ill-timed action on this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, Jerusalem is the proper location for the U.S. Embassy. 
It is not a question of whether: it is a question of when. I share the 
goal of this resolution. But I also feel strongly that setting a rigid 
timetable for moving the Embassy ignores the realities of the peace 
process. Timetables are markers the parties set to try to move the 
peace process forward.
  Furthermore, we should be careful about where we put an embassy. This 
bill is silent on this key point. There could well be serious 
repercussions throughout the Islamic world from building an embassy on 
land claimed as Islamic Trust, or Waqf land, considered sacred by 
Muslims. This issue will have to be addressed.
  We should declare our intention, which has been the clear policy of 
eight successive Presidents, to move the embassy to Jerusalem as soon 
as its status as Israel's capital is confirmed by a peace agreement--
and to reserve our right to recognize that status if the peace process 
collapses.
  For now, our policy should remain unchanged. Our policy has made an 
extraordinary contribution to the peace process. The labors of many 
Presidents are now bearing fruit. Our policy should continue to be 
based on strong support for Israel's security, coupled with our role as 
a credible mediator.
  Let's not make a difficult peace process even more difficult.
  I urge a ``no'' vote on S. 1322.

                              {time}  1645

  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California [Mr. Filner].
  Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New York [Mr. 
Gilman] for yielding and for his lifetime commitment to the state of 
Israel and to peace in the Middle East.
  Mr. Speaker, with due respect to the gentleman from Indiana [Mr. 
Hamilton], who always presents the most persuasive arguments, I rise in 
strong support of relocating the U.S. Embassy in Israel to its ancient 
capital in Jerusalem.
  Mr. Speaker, for 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been the cultural, 
religious, and spiritual capital of the Jewish people--and yet our 200-
year-old Nation still does not afford it the proper dignity virtually 
every other nation enjoys. In fact, Israel is the only country in the 
world where the United States neither recognizes the designated capital 
of the host country nor has our embassy located in that city.
  Let me remind my colleagues, no matter what happens as the peace 
process unfolds, Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel.
  We must bring an end to this 50-year debate about when is the right 
moment to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

[[Page H 10683]]

  Tomorrow, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin will participate in a 
congressional ceremony in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol to celebrate 
the 3,000th anniversary of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. What 
better time than now for Israel's strongest supporter to finally 
acknowledge that Jerusalem is the eternal, undivided capital of Israel 
and to begin the process of relocating our embassy there.
  I call on my colleagues today to make a clear statement to one of our 
strongest allies--and support this resolution.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Texas [Mr. Frost].
  (Mr. FROST asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of S. 1322, the Jerusalem 
Embassy Relocation Implementation Act.
  Israel is the only country in the world where the United States does 
not maintain its embassy in the host nation's declared capital. It is 
now time for the United States to accept Jerusalem as Israel's capital 
and to move the U.S. Embassy accordingly.
  Israel has never wavered from its position that Jerusalem is its 
capital. Jerusalem is Israel's seat of government--the president, the 
prime minister, and the supreme court are located in the capital city 
of Jerusalem. The reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty 
and its restoration as the capital of Israel is of utmost importance to 
the Jewish people in Israel--as well as to all friends of Israel around 
the world. As a matter of duty and principle, the United States must 
take a leadership role and support Jerusalem's permanent status as the 
capital of Israel and locate the U.S. Embassy there.
  Furthermore, I reject that this bill will undermine the peace 
process. The Israeli Government has never committed itself to opening 
up to negotiation the issue of its sovereignty over unified Jerusalem. 
Israel has always asserted that Jerusalem is its capital, and it is 
unrealistic for anyone to believe that Israel will compromise on the 
issue. In fact, I believe that the reluctance of the United States to 
locate its embassy in Jerusalem is more likely to undermine the peace 
process. It implies that even Israel's closest allies might be open to 
the idea of redividing the city or challenging Israel's sovereignty 
there.
  Again, as a world leader, the United States must act now and move the 
United States Embassy to Jerusalem--the capital of Israel.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from New York [Mr. Schumer].
  (Mr. SCHUMER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Indiana [Mr. 
Hamilton], ranking member, my friend, and someone whom I admire, for 
this time, but I must disagree with the gentleman and rise in support 
of this important resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, let us not forget something: For any of the time that 
Israel has had control of any portion of Jerusalem, it has been open. 
The world's holy places have been open. When the Arab nations had 
control of Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967, no Jew was allowed to visit 
any of those holy places, and many are important to the Jewish 
religion, as well as the Christian and Islamic religions.
  Mr. Speaker, whenever I went to Israel and would have to meet with 
American officials and leave Jerusalem and go to Tel Aviv, it was 
embarrassing. It was humiliating. It was wrong.
  As has been said before, it is a nation's sovereignty to choose its 
capital. Israel has chosen Jerusalem. It is about time the United 
States went along.
  Mr. Speaker, I salute the gentleman from New York [Mr. Gilman] for 
his resolution.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York [Mr. Forbes].
  (Mr. FORBES asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. FORBES. Mr. Speaker, I believe that the time is right for the 
action of this Congress, both this House and the other body, moving 
forward to embrace the relocation of the United States Embassy to the 
Holy City of Jerusalem. It is the time to do it. I wholeheartedly 
embrace this legislation and think it is long overdue.
  Mr. Speaker, we need to send a signal that this embassy, which is so 
critical in such a critical part of the world, should be located in the 
Holy City. I am very honored to rise in support of the action today and 
look for its swift and prompt passage, and urge the administration to 
embrace the tenets of this bill and support it as well.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Moran].
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. Speaker, we should not be jeopardizing the prospects 
for peace for the sake of political posturing.
  Mr. Speaker, I understand that the Presidential candidate that is 
pushing this legislation used to be opposed to this move. What 
compelling reason is there to depart from our policy on Jerusalem that 
has served both Republican and Democratic administrations for over 45 
years?
  Mr. Speaker, since President Truman, this Nation has stuck firmly to 
the policy that Jerusalem's final status could only be determined by 
negotiation. Now, we have a chance for lasting peace through United 
States-sponsored negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. In 
these peace talks sometime next year the permanent status negotiations 
on Jerusalem will occur.
  Mr. Speaker, both the Palestinians and the Israelis recognize that 
this issue must be deferred to the end of the peace process in order to 
make the progress that has been made to date. This is not the time, 
unilaterally, for the United States, contrary to the desire of Israel 
and the Palestinians, to begin the process of moving the capital to 
Jerusalem.
  Mr. Speaker, I say to my colleagues, do not do this to Prime Minister 
Rabin and do not do it to the peace process.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
Jersey [Mr. Pallone].
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I just want to emphasize that this bill 
will not damage the peace process. In fact, it complements the peace 
process in terms of when construction would actually begin on the 
embassy and when it would actually be completed.
  Mr. Speaker, I think that we have to stress that an undivided 
Jerusalem needs to be recognized as the capital of Israel and that our 
embassy should be moved there. This move is long overdue. Particularly 
now, with Jerusalem's 3,000th anniversary as the capital of Israel, I 
think it is time to support it and support it on a bipartisan basis.
  Mr. Speaker, I would stress that this is not a Republican bill; it is 
not a Democratic bill; it is a bipartisan bill and will, I think, 
complement the peace process and not take away from it in any way.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge support for the legislation.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from New York [Mrs. Lowey].
  Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of this bill, 
which establishes a time-frame for the United States embassy in Israel 
to be relocated to Jerusalem.
  I, along with many of my colleagues, have been fighting for this 
relocation for many years now. It is fitting that as we celebrate the 
3,000th anniversary of King David's establishment of Jerusalem as the 
capital of Israel, we will finally pass this bill to move our embassy 
to Jerusalem.
  Mr. Speaker, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and it shall always 
remain the capital of Israel. Yet Israel is the only country in which 
the United States embassy is not located in the capital. This is not 
right.
  By having our embassy anywhere other than Jerusalem, we are sending 
mixed signals about the United States' position on Jerusalem as the 
capital of the Jewish homeland. This is not the type of message we 
should be sending. Our position should be unequivocal: the United 
States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this sensible bill that 
puts into law what we have been talking about for all of these years.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New 
Jersey [Mr. LoBiondo].

[[Page H 10684]]

  Mr. LoBIONDO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of S. 1322--the 
Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Improvement Act.
  Mr. Speaker, Jerusalem has been a United City, administered by Israel 
since 1967. For 28 years, it has been a city in which the rights of all 
faiths have been respected and protected. It is not only the historic 
center of Judaism, but it is clearly the functioning capital of Israel.
  Yet Jerusalem is the only functioning capital in which the United 
States does not maintain its embassy.
  Mr. Speaker, Israel is a proven friend of the United States. It is a 
strategic ally and a democratic state. The United States should 
recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and a such, should begin 
construction on, and open, its U.S. Embassy in the city of Jerusalem as 
soon as is practical. This bill accomplishes that goal and I urge all 
of my colleagues to support the bill.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California, [Ms. Harman].
  (Ms. HARMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, there are three things to commend it. First of all, it 
reflects a bipartisan compromise on the issue, and it is my view, 
absolutely, that the more bipartisanship we can have in this 
institution, the better.
  Second of all, it recognizes something which was, is, and will be the 
fact, and that is that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel. 
It is very important that everyone understand that Jerusalem was, is, 
and will be the capital of the State of Israel.
  Mr. Speaker, third, it allows for flexibility in the timing and 
manner of the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, 
consistent with progress on the peace talks. It is imperative that we 
allow the peace process to go forward and do nothing to undermine it.
  For all of these reasons, Mr. Speaker, I strongly support the 
resolution and urge all our colleagues to support it as well.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1595, the 
Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Implementation Act.
  First, the bill reflects a bipartisan approach to the issue--
something essential to effective policy.
  Second, the bill officially acknowledges that Jerusalem is and should 
always be the capital of the State of Israel. I have always supported a 
unified Jerusalem under Israeli rule, and note that this year the world 
celebrates the 3000th anniversary of King David's establishment of 
Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In this century, after suffering 
one of the greatest tragedies in history, the Jewish people have 
finally been able to return to Israel, and to call Jerusalem their own. 
By moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, America reaffirms the success 
of that struggle, and the incomparable friendship between our Nation 
and the State of Israel.
  Third, the bill carefully permits the time and manner for moving our 
Embassy to take into account developments in the peace process now 
underway. The Clinton and Rabin administrations have made tremendous 
strides in recent days, and it would be counter to the interests of 
both nations to destabilize that process for the sake of a timetable to 
move an embassy.
  I strongly support moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and urge my 
colleagues to support this bipartisan resolution.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
Jersey [Mr. Torricelli].
  Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. Speaker, in the Roman Empire the idea of Rome was 
more than it was simply a city. It was a symbol of its power and its 
majesty. The time when Britain rose to prominence, London was more than 
simply its largest collection of people. It was the seat of its 
merchant and industrial power.
  So with Israel. Jerusalem is more simply than a place where its 
citizens live. Jerusalem is a symbol of the Jewish State; the capital 
of its faith, not only its nation.
  The United States plays an important role in this great truth, this 
special role of Jerusalem to Israel and to the Jewish people, because 
America is not an equal among the families of nations. We set a 
standard. So, with 184 other nations, the presence of an American 
Ambassador, the flying of our flag, is an important recognition of the 
legitimacy of those governments and the place of its power.
  Yet, today, Mr. Speaker, though the United States was the first 
Nation in the world to recognize the state of Israel, our Ambassador is 
absent from the seat of its capital.

                              {time}  1700

  This is more than a matter of prestige. It is also an important 
matter of political power. Unless and until an American Ambassador sits 
in Jerusalem, this matter will be misunderstood and misinterpreted by 
all those who still have hostile intent against the Jewish State. This 
resolution sets the matter right, that America will stand with Israel.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Bonior].
  Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from West Virginia 
[Mr. Rahall].
  (Mr. RAHALL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me. I 
rise in vehement opposition to this legislation.
  Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Speaker, it is not hard to understand the passions on 
both sides of this issue.
  Jerusalem is sacred to Jews, Muslims, and Christians--and we should 
respect the rights of all religions to honor Jerusalem as a holy place.
  But this bill today is the wrong move--at the wrong time.
  Not only will it disrupt the peace process;
  Not only could it lead to an explosion of passions on the West Bank 
and Gaza;
  If we pass this bill today, we may very well put the lives of 
innocent Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians at risk;
  That is what our negotiators in the Middle East tell us today--and I 
believe we should heed their warnings.
  Mr. Speaker, we have made great strides toward peace in the Middle 
East the past few years.
  As a nation, we have historically supported Israel. At the same time, 
America has been able to play a strong role in these negotiations 
because we've been seen as something of an honest broker.
  If we vote to move our Embassy today--we would be siding more 
directly with one side on one of the major issues in the peace process. 
And I believe we could disrupt negotiations entirely.
  Mr. Speaker, the question of Jerusalem must be resolved. But it can 
only be resolved through honest discussion and negotiation in the 
context of the peace process.
  The fact is, every country but two is keeping its embassy in Tel 
Aviv--pending the outcome of negotiations.
  Every President and every Secretary of State since the 1950s has said 
that the future of Jerusalem must be worked out in negotiations.
  The Government of Israel itself says that this issue must be worked 
out in negotiations.
  The leaders of Israel have shown tremendous courage and vision in 
embracing the peace process. Passing this bill will be a step 
backwards.
  Mr. Speaker, we should not try to resolve 3,000 years of history with 
40 minutes of debate under suspension of the House rules.
  This bill weakens our hand--undercuts our effectiveness--and destroys 
the trust we have worked so hard to build in the peace process.
  It is the wrong move--at the wrong time--and I urge my colleagues to 
reject it.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania [Mr. Fox].
  Mr. FOX of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to 
join with my colleagues in support of the legislation which will 
recognize for the first time that Jerusalem is the appropriate place 
for our Embassy, the capital of Israel. In every other country across 
the world, the United States has its Embassy in the capital of the 
country; not so, of course, in Israel.
  This will send a clear signal to everyone around the world that we 
regard Israel as one of the most important allies we have, a country 
that has stood the test of time in its restraint during recent 
conflicts, not that long ago in the Middle East, a country that is the 
only democracy in the Middle East, a country that has been America's 
best 

[[Page H 10685]]
friend. There is no better substantive or symbolic item that I think 
could come before this Congress today than to have us approve the 
legislation.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Missouri [Mr. Gephardt].
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. GEPHARDT. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
  (Mr. DINGELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I express myself in opposition to this 
legislation.
   Mr. Speaker, with no hearings, no report, no adequate consideration 
of this legislation in committee the House is taking up legislation 
passed just today in the Senate.
  This is no way to legislate.
  It disregards the normal, correct, and proper practices of the House. 
It, like other recent actions in this body, raises questions of the 
propriety of the process here.
  Adoption of this legislation at this time raises real fears as to the 
continued viability of the peace process in the Middle East.
  I do not take the view as to where our Embassy in Israel should be 
located. Perhaps we should decide that it should be located in 
Jerusalem, but only if we are satisfied such action is fully consonent 
with our national interests, and in the interest of peace in the area.
  The peace process is ongoing. This Nation is subsidizing the Israeli 
economy to the amount of more than $3 billion per year, and have been 
doing so for years. We are subsidizing other countries with billions 
more of our tax payers dollars.
  A peace process, pedaled, pushed, and driven by our efforts goes on. 
What happens to that process if this legislation is passed.
  Secretary Christopher warns of the peril of this legislation.
  The U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Martin Ludyk warns, ``Any move now, 
(on the location of our Embassy) I believe strongly, would explode the 
peace process.''
  The Foreward a major Jewish newspaper in New York says ``Efforts (by 
Presidential Candidate Dole and others) to emerge as the greater 
champion of Israel would be laughable, were it not so blatant a play 
for positioning in the coming primaries.''
  The Israeli Minister of Communications said, ``If the Americans 
decide to do it immediately, they would be liable to cause tensions, 
which we don't need.''
  Shimon Peres, Israeli Foreign Minister said, ``There is no need for 
our involvement at this point.''
  And a spokesman for Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister had 
this to say, ``The rightist Likud opposition is behind the effort in 
the hope of torpedoing the peace negotiations.''
  Why then are we considering this legislation? The Israeli government 
does not want the legislation and it will be offensive to other parties 
to the negotiations. It will severely threaten the peace process, and 
it will hurt our efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.
  The United States has major interest in returning a just peace to the 
Middle East. We are spending billions of dollars of American taxpayers 
money there to promote peace and restore stability as well as to 
sustain governments of Israel and other countries in the area.
  This legislation can be passed enthusiastically when the time is 
right. I will happily support it then. Now is not the time for this 
action. It is not in the interest of our country. Nor is it in the 
interest of peace in the Middle East, or of the people there.
  I urge a ``no'' vote.
  Mr. GEPHARDT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues to 
support this bill--to move the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, 
which is the real and proper capital of Israel.
  Tomorrow, in this very building, many of us will join with prime 
Minister Rabin to celebrate the 3,000th anniversary of the founding of 
Jerusalem. I can't think of a better anniversary gift than to move past 
the rhetoric and the nonbinding resolutions, and finally acknowledge 
the city that the people of Israel chose as their own capital nearly 
five decades ago.
  To me, Jerusalem embodies the very notions of liberty justice and 
freedom from persecution upon which Israel was founded. That is why we 
must follow the example of the other body, which passed this bill by an 
overwhelming, bipartisan margin this morning.
  Of course, we must all be concerned about the delicate peace process 
in the Middle East, above all else. That is why this bill is designed 
to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem in 1999, when the peace 
process is expected to be completed.
  But if, for some unforseen reason, moving the embassy at that time 
would damage the peace process, this bill gives the President the 
authority to delay the move. The Speaker and I, along with many other 
strong supporters of Israel, felt it was important to include that 
condition, because a lasting peace in the Middle East must take 
precedence over all other goals and concerns.
  Barring that kind of unforeseen development, we can allow no further 
delay or excuses. It is only fitting that the holiest city in the world 
be acknowledged as the official center of the Jewish people, who have 
strived for so long to express their faith freely and openly.
  Let's pass this bill, and affirm what the Jewish people have know for 
3,000 years--that Jerusalem is their capital, not just spiritually, but 
politically as well.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
Jersey [Mr. Saxton].
  Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
me.
  Mr. Speaker, I would just like to say today that I rise in very 
strong support of the measure presented by the gentleman from New York. 
It was, after all, 45 years ago, 45 years ago that the state of Israel 
established Jerusalem as its capital. Since and during those 45 years, 
the Knesset and the prime minister's office have been in continuous 
operation in the city chosen by the people of the country to be their 
capital.
  During that time, it goes, I think, without saying that every 
American, virtually every American that visits Israel visits the city 
of Jerusalem and considers it, because the people of Israel have chosen 
it, as their capital. And we consider it the same. Yet our embassy 
remains in Tel Aviv.
  It seems to me that we all know what the right thing to do is. As a 
matter of fact, in the last presidential campaign, candidate Clinton, 
now of course the President of our country, said, and I will quote this 
as closely as I can remember it, he said a very few words to express 
his feelings on the matter. He said Jerusalem is the eternal and 
undivided capital of Israel.
  So this bill essentially does two things: It moves toward the 
positive aspects of a decision which would move our embassy to 
Jerusalem. And it recognizes that there is a tenuous peace process 
which is currently under way. Therefore, it says to the President, if 
you need a temporary delay, we grant a waiver in order that you make 
take advantage of some time, some time sensitivities, if you believe 
they exist.
  So I believe we should move forward today with this. I think it is a 
very important matter. I conclude by saying that I support it very, 
very strongly.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
West Virginia [Mr. Rahall].
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished gentleman from 
Indiana for yielding time to me.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the pending measure that would 
relocate the U.S. Embassy now located in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem.
  Mr. Speaker, when this legislation was first introduced in May of 
this year, and word went out in the world about it, there were quite a 
few statements made about its negative impact upon the Middle East 
peace talks.
  A spokesperson for Prime Minister Rabin said: ``the rightist Likud 
opposition is behind the effort in the hope of torpedoing the peace 
negotiations.''
  Shimon Peres, Israeli Foreign Minister, said: ``There is no need for 
our involvement at this point.''
  Shulamit Aloni, Israeli Minister of Communications, said: ``If the 
Americans decide to do it immediately, they would be liable to cause 
tensions, which we don't need.''
  Martin Indyk, our new Ambassador to Israel, said: ``Any move now, I 
believe strongly, would explode the peace process.''
  The Forward, a Jewish Newspaper based in New York, said:

       ``Efforts by individuals to emerge as the `greater champion 
     of Israel' would be laughable, were it not so blatant a play 
     for positioning in the coming primaries.''

  It is not lost on anyone that five Presidential candidates have come 
out in support of the legislation.
  The bill, which will have the force of law, emphatically states that 
Jerusalem is, and has always been, the capital of Israel. Yet it is a 
matter of record that no nation--no country--since Israel's annexation 
of east Jerusalem in 

[[Page H 10686]]

1967--has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. As a matter of 
fact, no country has moved an embassy to Jerusalem since 1967 except 
Costa Rica. The fact that the new embassy would be in west Jerusalem 
does not change a thing.
  I understand that waivers have been placed in the Senate measure 
passed yesterday in that body, to allow the President to waive this 
move in the interest of our National Security, but that it does not 
necessarily mean that the President may consider a breakdown of ongoing 
peace talks in the Middle East, or a breakdown of relations between 
Israel and the PLO, as being ``in the national security interests.''
  What kind of ``National Security Interest waiver authority'' is that?
  No doubt, King Hussein of Jordan, Yasir Arafat of Palestine, King 
Hassan of Morocco--now feel they have been made unwitting collaborators 
in a plot to destroy the peace process.
  Mr. Speaker, not since 1967 has a single country, including the 
United States, recognized Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem, nor 
that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. Not one. How then is it that 
we have a bill on the floor today that states--unequivocally--that 
Jerusalem is, and always has been, the capitol of Israel and that being 
so, we should move our embassy there?
  Jerusalem is a holy city, and it is called the City of Peace. It 
belongs to Judaism, to Christianity, and to Islam.
  It is not only Israel that feels bound by its history and its 
religious beliefs and practices to Jerusalem. It is not only Israel's 
holiest of cities--it is the holy city of Christians and of Moslems 
too. It always was, and it always will be.
  Passage of this bill flies in the face of the recent outstanding 
gains the United States has made in the Arab world as an honest, and 
objective, broker of peace in the Middle East.
  The President has been advised, by the Department of State, to veto 
the bill, because of constitutional questions about its usurping the 
President's constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs and set 
foreign policy.
  I understand that, the President will sign the bill, based on these 
waivers, and that no veto can be expected.
  Mr. Speaker, as our Amabassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, stated in 
May of this year, I believe strongly that any move now would explode 
the peace process.'' I also believe it will have an extremely adverse 
effect on Prime Minister Rabin's ability to continue as Prime Minister, 
playing dangerously into the hands of the hard-line Likud party. 
Certainly I believe it will place chairman Arafat in an untenable 
position with respect to his ability to keep the peace, comply with the 
accords, and particularly with respect to the first Palestinian 
elections scheduled to take place in January 1996.
  I hope that the President will see the so-called waivers as actually 
binding his hands as an honest broker of Middle East Peace. That he 
will see such binding of his hands is a threat to our national security 
interests and that he will veto this legislation with a veto message 
stating that the upending of the Middle East Pace talks is, in his 
view, a matter of our National Security Interest, and further that he 
demand a bill that says so in no uncertain terms.
  Mr. Speaker, I am opposed to passage of this legislation.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
Jersey [Mr. Zimmer].
  Mr. ZIMMER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
me.
  I rise today in support of H.R. 1595 of which I am a proud original 
cosponsor.
  Jerusalem has been the spiritual capital of Israel since King David 
established it as the capital of the Jewish Kingdom 3,000 years ago. 
Since 1950, it has been the official capital of modern Israel. It is 
time the United States recognized it as such. All across the world we 
maintain our embassies in the functioning capitals of every country 
except Israel--we didn't build our embassy in Lyons instead of in 
Paris, or in Bath instead of London. It is time we extend the same 
diplomatic courtesy to Israel. To do otherwise is to ignore Israel's 
legitimate historic claim.
  With the significant progress that has been made in the peace 
process, I firmly believe that the recognition of Jerusalem as the 
undivided capital of Israel and a city open to all ethnic and religious 
groups--is the next step to take.
  This is the first time we will vote on legislation that is real. It 
is more than just a promise or a resolution; it is an action that 
demonstrates the seriousness of our intentions. It is my hope that we 
can accomplish this goal by the date we have set--May 31, 1999.
  Congress has already adopted four resolutions on this matter. Now is 
the time for the rhetoric to cease. Now is the time to take action.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Florida [Mr. Deutsch].
  (Mr. DEUTSCH asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. DEUTSCH. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1595, which 
is a piece of legislation that will facilitate a long overdue movement 
of the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This 
is the only Embassy in the world, American Embassy, that is not in the 
capital that is designated by the country that the Embassy is in.
  It is unprecedented and almost bizarre that it exists at this point 
in time. It is an anachronism from a misguided policy of really 40 
years ago that this country has continued. I really congratulate my 
colleagues in the leadership of this House for bringing this bill to 
the floor at this time.
  It is a bill that really should not be necessary, but we are here 
today discussing it and hopefully we will pass it in a few minutes. It 
is setting the size of the sandbox. Why should this Congress be 
dictating to another country what their capital is? Obviously Jerusalem 
is the center of the world for most people on this planet. But still 
that remains the capital of the state of Israel.
  To offer anything else but passage of this resolution today, I think, 
would be really sending a terrible signal to the world, a terrible 
signal. In fact, I would argue very strongly that failure to get the 
two-thirds vote on this bill today would be sending an exactly wrong 
message because it would be sending a message that there is not resolve 
in this Congress of support of the peace process and that there is an 
opening in terms of what could happen in terms of Jerusalem, that the 
United States Congress has weakened its supports for this peace 
process.

                              {time}  1715

  So I really urge my colleagues, hopefully as close to unanimous as we 
can be in support of this process, that we will continue an effort, and 
I hope we have a situation in the Middle East that we will have peace 
in that region for all time.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, a reunited Jerusalem has been a dream for so many 
throughout the world. As for many of us right here in the Congress, our 
dream has been to see the day that our United States Embassy would be 
moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This legislation moves us that much 
closer to reality, the reality of a comprehensive peace in the Middle 
East and the reality of the United States Embassy property in Israel's 
capital, Jerusalem.
  Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to fully support this 
landmark legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Foley). The gentleman from Indiana [Mr. 
Hamilton] is recognized for 1 minute.
  Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, let me just give a quote from Secretary 
Christopher, if I may, about the question of Jerusalem. This is the 
quote:

       There is no issue related to the Arab-Israeli negotiations 
     that is more sensitive than Jerusalem. It is precisely for 
     this reason that any effort by Congress to bring it to the 
     forefront is ill-advised and potentially very damaging to the 
     success of the peace process.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, for almost 45 years only one country has had 
the dubious distinction of having to send its government officials out 
of its capital to visit the United States Embassy. This insult was not 
reserved for Libya, North Korea, Cuba, or any of America's historic 
detractors. It was reserved for Israel--one of America's closest 
friends and our 

[[Page H 10687]]

most important ally in the turbulent Middle East.
  Because the U.S. Embassy in Israel is based in Tel Aviv, not 
Jerusalem--Israel's declared capital--the United States has managed to 
reject a general principle of international practice: The placement of 
a state's embassy in the location of a foreign nation's capital. I, 
therefore, rise in strong support of S. 1322, the Jerusalem Embassy 
Relocation Act, which states that an undivided Jerusalem should be 
recognized as the capital of Israel and that our Embassy should be 
moved to that city. As the sponsor of the resolution declaring 
Jerusalem to be the united capital of Israel, which overwhelmingly 
passed the House in 1990, I strongly support this resolution and urge 
the House to pass it.
  Some have raised concerns with the impact of S. 1322 on the ongoing 
peace process in the Middle East. According to those opposed to the 
bill, any decision to move the Embassy before the conclusion of final 
status talks on Jerusalem would damage the process and set back chances 
for peace in the Mid East. I would like to take this opportunity to 
allay those concerns. According to the Oslo agreement signed by Israel 
and the PLO in 1993, the issue of Jerusalem will be discussed during 
final status negotiations beginning of 1996. Moving the Embassy by 1999 
is not only the principled thing to do, it is fully compatible with the 
time table of the peace process. Final status negotiations are to be 
complete by May 1999.
  While I strongly support this bill, I would like to express my 
opposition to the procedure under which it has been brought to the 
floor. S. 1322 is authorizing legislation and should rightfully have 
been referred to the International Relations Committee, of which I am a 
member, for hearings and a markup. Similar to the procedure--or lack 
thereof--on the Middle East Peace Facilitation Act, the International 
Relations Committee has not seen fit to exercise its jurisdiction on 
this critical issue.
  On this 3,000th anniversary of the establishment of Jerusalem, the 
city of David, however, I am proud to announce my support for this 
legislation. As Israel's closest ally, the United States must take the 
lead in supporting the unity of Jerusalem and its permanent status as 
capital of Israel by moving our Embassy to the holy city.
  Mr. HEINEMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of S. 1322, the 
Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Implementation Act. The United States 
enjoys diplomatic relations with 184 countries. Israel is the only 
country in which our nation does not have it's Embassy located in the 
nation's capital. I believe that is wrong. I realize the historical and 
religious importance of Jerusalem to all sides involved in this matter 
and support the ongoing peace process taking place between Israel and 
the Palestinians.
  I believe it is important for the United States' position on 
Jerusalem to be clear. S. 1322 declares that it is official United 
States policy to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The 
actual moving of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would not 
take place for several years. This would allow enough time for peace 
negotiations between Israel and the PLO to be completed. This is a 
bipartisan piece of legislation which should receive strong support 
from the Congress and the President of the United States. Now is the 
time for our Nation to show some leadership by supporting S. 1322.
  Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the 
legislation we are considering, S. 1322--the Jerusalem Embassy 
Relocation Implementation Act of 1995.
  Symbolically, this is an important and an appropriate gesture for the 
United States to make at this particular time. This week we commemorate 
the anniversary of the date 3,000 years ago when David, the King of 
Israel, captured the city of Jerusalem and made it his capital. Under 
David and his successors, Jerusalem became the religious and political 
and emotional center of Israel, and it remains so to this very day.
  Mr. Speaker, almost 12 years ago--in November of 1983--I introduced 
legislation in the Congress that was identical in purpose to the 
legislation that we are considering here today. At that time, a 
majority of the Members of the House cosponsored this legislation, and 
a majority of the Members of the Senate cosponsored the identical bill 
which was introduced in the other body by the distinguished Senator 
from New York, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
  Then--as now--this legislation had broad bipartisan support. Our 
distinguished colleague, Congressman Benjamin A. Gilman of New York, 
was the principal cosponsor of our bill in the House, and a broad 
bipartisan group of our Democratic and Republican colleagues joined us 
in cosponsoring the bill. I might add that there were fewer Republican 
cosponsors at that time, in part because there were fewer Republican 
Members of the House in those days. I might add that 12 years ago, the 
administration of Republican President Ronald Reagan and his Vice 
President, George Bush, opposed our legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, we have witnessed important changes since 1983 and 
1984--changes which now make the adoption of this legislation more 
timely and appropriate. The peace process has transformed the Middle 
East. The Government of Israel has taken bold steps in a courageous 
effort to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians. The end of the 
cold war has created the fundamental conditions that have permitted 
this peace process to move forward.
  U.S. administrations have played a critical role in encouraging and 
facilitating this peace process--administrations of both parties with 
the bipartisan support of the Congress. The Bush administration played 
a major role in starting the process following the victory of U.S.-led 
forces in the gulf war. The Clinton administration continued actively 
to encourage, cajole, and support the process, culminating in the 
signing ceremony on the White House lawn in September 1993. With the 
support of the United States, a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan 
has been signed, and agreements have been signed regarding Palestinian 
administration of Palestinian-inhabited territories and arrangements 
for democratic Palestinian elections.
  Although conditions in the region have changed that now permit us to 
move forward on this legislation, the arguments and reasons for 
adopting this legislation have not changed over the past 12 years.
  Mr. Speaker, the United States maintains diplomatic relations with 
184 countries. In virtually all of these countries where we have a 
resident Embassy, our Embassy is located in the capital city. When the 
Government of Brazil decided to move its capital from Rio de Janeiro to 
Brasilia, the United States moved its Embassy to the new capital. When 
the Government of Saudi Arabia, which until a few years ago indicated 
that it would like to have Embassies located in Riyadh, the United 
States Government followed traditional diplomatic practice and 
constructed an Embassy building in Riyadh. This is as it should be. An 
Embassy should be in the same city as the Government to which it is 
accredited.
  In one case, however, our Embassy is not located in the capital 
city--despite the expressed desire of the house country that this be 
done. Although Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, our Embassy is 
located in Tel Aviv.
  Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since 1949. Presidents of 
the United States, Secretaries of State, United States Ambassadors, 
Members of Congress--all have done business with the Government of 
Israel at the seat of government in West Jerusalem. When Anwar Sadat of 
Egypt paid a historic visit to Israel and addressed the Israeli 
Knesset, he spoke at the Knesset building in West Jerusalem.
  Moving the U.S. Embassy to West Jerusalem does not affect any of the 
issues surrounding the peaceful resolution of the Palestinian issue. 
West Jerusalem has been an integral part of Israel since 1949 and this 
has been recognized by all nations with whom Israel maintains 
diplomatic relations.
  An analogy with the situation in East Germany prior to the 
unification of Germany just 4 years ago this month is particularly 
appropriate in this case. The Government of East Germany claimed that 
East Berlin was an integral part of its territory. The United States, 
however, did not recognize this claim and maintained that East Berlin 
and West Berlin had a unique status guaranteed by the four occupying 
powers--the Soviet Union, the United States, Britain and France. 
Nevertheless, when the United States established diplomatic relations 
with East Germany in 1971, we located our embassy in East Berlin. At 
that time the State Department affirmed:

       The United States Government proceeds on the basis that the 
     locations and functions of an American Embassy in East 
     Berlin, where it will be convenient to the government offices 
     with which it will deal, will not affect the special legal 
     status of the Berlin area.

We were broadminded enough to enunciate and observe this rational 
principle in dealing with a communist dictatorship which sought to 
undermine our own treaty obligation for all of Berlin. Why should we 
not follow the same rational principle in dealing with a democratic 
ally?
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join in supporting the adoption 
of this legislation. The time has come to end inconvenience, 
inefficiency, and expense by moving our Embassy to Israel's capital 
city--Jerusalem.

[[Page H 10688]]

  Mr. DEUTSCH. Mr. Speaker. I rise today to speak in support of S. 
1322, a piece of legislation that will facilitate a long overdue 
movement of the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to 
Jerusalem. As an original cosponsor and strong advocate of relocating 
our embassy to Jerusalem, I congratulate the leadership in both the 
House and Senate for making this a priority and moving this 
legislation.
  For 3,000 years Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people, 
the very heart of its religious, spiritual, cultural, and national 
life. It is and will forever be the eternal, undivided capital of 
Israel. Yet for nearly five decades Israel's closest ally--the United 
States--has failed to acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital. In fact, 
Israel is the only country in the world that the United States does not 
recognize the designated capital of the host country.
  When you think about it, out position is nothing short of bizarre, 
illogical, and offensive. For 47 years, the United States has shared an 
extraordinary friendship with Israel but for 47 years, the United 
States has been frozen in this state of inconsistency and 
insensitivity.
  But instead of looking back at what may be our mistake let's look 
ahead at what may be our fortune. As the peace process moves forward, 
moving the United States embassy to Jerusalem will send a clear message 
to the world, to the Middle East and most importantly, to the 
Palestinians that America supports Israel's claim to Jerusalem. We must 
stand behind Prime Minister Rabin's words to the Knesset:

       United Jerusalem will not be open to negotiation. It has 
     been and will forecer be the capital of the Jewish people, 
     under Isreali sovereignty, a focus of the dreams and longings 
     of every Jew.

  For far too long, the United States has allowed this matter to linger 
in ambiguity throughout the peace talks. There is absolutely no reason 
to risk uncertainty about the U.S. Government's commitment to the 
status and the destiny of Jerusalem.
  Tomorrow, Prime Minister Rabin will be here to celebrate the 3,000th 
anniversary of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. What better way for 
the United States to celebrate this occasion with Israel than to begin 
the process of relocating our embassy to Jerusalem.
  Mr. ACKERMAN. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in strong support of 
this extremely important resolution, and I want to commend the 
leadership for bringing this bill, a bill that is 47 years overdue, to 
the floor for consideration today.
  Mr. Speaker, in the last half century, the United States has rightly 
shown its support and respect for our most loyal ally in the Middle 
East, and one of our best friends in the world, in just about every 
area--except for one. That, of course, is in the matter of proper 
diplomatic recognition. Yes, we obviously recognize the sovereignty of 
Israel, yet by not placing our Embassy in Israel's declared capital, we 
do a great disservice to her, as well as to us. Israel is the only 
nation, out of 184 with which we maintain diplomatic relations, in 
which we do not have our Embassy in its declared capital. I think it is 
highly inappropriate to continue this overt, and undiplomatic gesture 
on our part.
  This issue as a whole is intrinsically emotional and complex. 
However, the bottom line is that Jerusalem has been and always will be, 
the capital of Israel. Undeniably speaking, the Middle East peace 
process is a fragile entity. It is a process that has been almost a 
century in the making. Just as Israel has greatly committed to the 
success of this venture, so too have many in the Arab world. However, 
the future of Jerusalem has never been in doubt to the Government of 
Israel, nor to the millions of Jews still living in the Diaspora. It 
has been clearly stated time and again that Jerusalem is the eternal 
capital of the State of Israel, and to a larger extent, the Jewish 
people.
  This issue goes to the heart of relations between the United States 
and Israel. What we are accomplishing with this bill is something that 
should have been accomplished 47 years ago--when the United States 
became one of the first countries to recognize and support the State of 
Israel, after its declaration of independence in May 1948. What we are 
finally doing here today is setting right a wrong of the largest 
magnitude.
  Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Speaker, today the House passed a historical piece of 
legislation, the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Improvement Act. This 
legislation, H.R. 1595, declares that it is official United States 
policy that Jerusalem be recognized as the permanent and undivided 
capital of Israel. Pursuant to this recognition, the bill directs the 
State Department to begin the relocation of the United States Embassy 
in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
  Jerusalem, a city of great historical and religious significance for 
Jews, Muslims, and Christians, has been the capital of Israel since 
1950. But for millennia, Jerusalem has been the focal point of Jewish 
life and has held a unique place and exerted a special influence on the 
moral development of western civilization. The city was divided between 
Israel and Jordan from 1948 to 1967, during which Jordan prohibited 
access to its half of the city to Jews and other religious pilgrims. 
However, in 1967 Israel united the city during the Six Day War, the 
second of three wars it would fight against its primary adversaries of 
the time: Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. During the 28 years following the 
reunification of Jerusalem, Israel has allowed full access to all holy 
sites in the city for persons of all faiths. It is a unique and 
treasured city to persons around the world.
  Although the United States recognizes Israel as an important friend 
and ally in the Middle East and conducts official meetings in 
Jerusalem, it does not maintain an embassy there, but rather in Tel 
Aviv. By moving our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a much more 
appropriate and productive location, the United States will demonstrate 
a firm commitment to the national sovereignty and unity of Israel.
  As someone who has always had a warm place in my heart for Israel, I 
am pleased with this legislative accomplishment. I look forward to a 
deeper, closer, stronger working relationship between the United States 
and Israel.
  Mr. LAZIO of New York. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today in 
support of S. 1322, the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Implementation Act 
of 1995. S. 1322 declares that it is official policy that Jerusalem be 
recognized as the capital of Israel. I am proud to be an original 
cosponsor of this bill and rise today to urge my colleagues to vote for 
S. 1322.
  For centuries the City of Jerusalem has been a religious and cultural 
beacon for people of all faiths. Our Nation's embassy in Israel should 
be located in Jerusalem--the holiest of cities, which has always been 
the capital of Israel.
  It is fitting that Congress pass this bill today on the eve of 
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's visit to the U.S. Capitol to 
commemorate the 3,000th anniversary of the founding of Jerusalem.
  It is time to recognize that Jerusalem is Israel's capital by moving 
our Embassy there. I am pleased to support this bill today and urge my 
colleagues to do the same.
  Ms. PRYCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this legislation 
to move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 
Israel is the only country in the world in which the American Embassy 
is located outside of the host nation's capital. It is time for the 
United States to show that it supports Jerusalem and its permanent 
status as the capital of Israel.
  Much has been said about how this legislation could send the wrong 
signal at a time when both sides of the conflict in the Middle East are 
pursuing peace. However, the realities of what we have seen to date in 
the peace process do not support this argument. Significant progress in 
the peace process has occurred since the introduction of this 
legislation in the House and Senate. Just a few weeks ago, Israel and 
the Palestinians signed the second phase of the Oslo Accords. This 
agreement came after the Palestinians and the Arab world had time to 
consider this legislation. This is compelling evidence that the peace 
process is not impeded by this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, the location of our embassies abroad is not a subject in 
the ongoing peace negotiations. Next year marks the 3,000th anniversary 
of King David's establishment of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish 
kingdom. Now is the time to begin the process of transferring the U.S. 
Embassy to Jerusalem, just as our other 183 embassies are located in 
the capitals of their host nation. I urge support for S. 1322.
  Mr. ALLARD. Mr. Speaker, I want to take a few minutes to show my 
support for H.R. 1595, the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Improvement 
Act.
  Jerusalem is a city of great historical significance for Jews, 
Christians, and Moslems. Since the 1950's, Jerusalem has been the 
capital city of Israel. However, the United States has never maintained 
its Embassy in Jerusalem. We have located it instead in Tel Aviv. This 
is inconsistent with every other U.S. Embassy which is located in the 
host country's capital city. Our policy is particularly inappropriate 
since Israel has been one of our strongest allies. I strongly believe 
it is time for the United States to fully recognize Jerusalem as the 
capital of Israel.
  Some critics say that the moving of the Embassy to Jerusalem would 
upset the tense peace negotiations. I do not believe this to be the 
case. In fact, I believe this change shows that the United States 
strongly supports the peace process and wants to see a peace which 
includes a unified Jerusalem.
  I believe this matter to be one of principle and priority for the 
Jewish people. Jerusalem is the seat of government. The President, 
Parliament, Prime Minister, the supreme court, and most of the 
government agencies are located there. As one of Israel's closest 
allies and friends, the United States should lead the 

[[Page H 10689]]
way in showing its support for the unity of Jerusalem and its permanent 
status as the capital of Israel.
  H.R. 1595 is the most direct and strongest statement the United 
States can make concerning a unified Jerusalem. That is why I am proud 
to be a cosponsor and supporter of this legislation.
  Mr. SKAGGS. Mr. Speaker, the United States has a crucial role to play 
as the honest broker--the convening authority--in the Middle East peace 
effort. To fulfill the responsibilities we've assumed, we must maintain 
a semblance of official evenhandedness regarding matters in controversy 
among the parties. It is of overarching importance, as we fashion 
Middle East policy, not to do anything that would undermine our own 
role and responsibility. That's why its long been official U.S. policy 
that the final status of Jerusalem be left to negotiations among the 
parties in interest.
  I personally want to see Jerusalem as a unified city, with free 
access for people of all religion to its great holy sites. I also 
personally believe that Jerusalem is the legitimate capital of the 
State of Israel. Clearly, that's the view of most of us. But it is not 
appropriate to transpose our personal views into a mandate of U.S. 
policy at this sensitive time.
  We should not pretend that the legislation will not be seen as 
compromising the U.S. role as honest broker in the peace process. By 
declaring that ``Jerusalem should be the recognized capital of the 
State of Israel,'' we will be sending a clear signal to the 
Palestinians and the Arab States that we have prejudged the solution on 
Jerusalem.
  In dictating how the President must deal with a foreign policy matter 
of great delicacy and subtlety, this bill is also on extremely 
questionable constitutional grounds. It seeks to micromanage a function 
that falls squarely within the Executives's foreign policy authority 
under article II. It would set a precedent by legislating for the first 
time in history where an Embassy must be located. The escape clause, 
enabling the President to defer the requirements of the bill for 6 
month intervals under a finding of national security necessity, may 
save it from unconstitutionality in law, but not in spirit.

  We should recognize this measure for what it is--something driven by 
domestic Presidential politics--not an effort to make sound foreign 
policy. The Government of Israel itself has made it clear--though off 
the record--that a law like this would be counterproductive.
  This legislation, however well intended, is unwise, and we should 
reject it.
  Mr. BURTON of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the 
Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act. I am very proud to be an original 
cosponsor of this moral, long-overdue legislation.
  It is nothing short of preposterous that we keep our Embassy in Tel 
Aviv rather than in Jerusalem. In every country in the world, the U.S. 
Embassy is located in the capital of that country. Why not in Israel? 
Every day that passes by without our Embassy in Jerusalem is 1 day too 
many.
  Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its eternal capital is stronger than 
that of any other country in the world to its capital. That claim is 
rooted in a 3,000-year-old bond that is recorded in the Bible itself. 
``By the waters of Babylon, there we sat and wept, as we remembered 
thee, O Zion!''
  For 3,000 years, the Jewish people have kept their faith with 
Jerusalem. Every year, on Yom Kippur, and at Passover, Jews repeat the 
phrase: ``Next year in Jerusalem!'' Mr. Speaker, it is time for this 
Congress to tell the President, regarding the United States Embassy: 
``Next year in Jerusalem!''
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I, too, yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from New York [Mr. Gilman] that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the Senate bill, S. 1322.
  The question was taken.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 5 of rule I and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be 
postponed.

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