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[casi] More on the status of Jerusalem

Dear all,

Bush "rejected the congressional effort to force his administration..."
to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but - although he
does have a line-item veto power, he signed the bill.


Israel U.S. Embassy Move Rejected

.c The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush rejected on Monday a congressional
to force his administration to take tentative steps toward moving the
Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Accepting Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which has been avoided by a
succession of U.S. administrations, would reinforce Israel's claim but
anger Arabs who want to make part of the city into the capital of a
Palestinian state. Almost all countries still have their diplomatic
in Tel Aviv.

``U.S. policy regarding Jerusalem has not changed,'' Bush wrote in a
statement as he signed an $8.6 billion spending bill for State
programs around the world.

He criticized the provision that recommended recognizing Jerusalem as
Israel's capital, saying it ``impermissibly interferes with the
constitutional authority to conduct the nation's foreign affairs.''

The measure would, ``if construed as mandatory rather than advisory,
impermissibly interfere with the president's constitutional authority to

formulate the position of the United States, speak for the nation in
international affairs and determine the terms on which recognition is
to foreign states.''

Secretary of State Colin Powell believes Israel and the Arabs must
the city's future through negotiations, department spokesman Richard

What Congress did last week on the Middle East as it authorized spending
State Department programs around the world hinders ``advancing our
in the region and promoting a just and lasting peace,'' Boucher said.

Israel considers Jerusalem the eternal capital of the Jewish people. In
1967 Six Day War, Israel ousted Jordan from the eastern part of the city

after 19 years of occupation and later annexation and united it with the

western portion, which Israel already held.

The Arabs intend to regain control of east Jerusalem and make it the
of a Palestinian state.

President Bush declared his support for Israel's position on Jerusalem
his 2000 election campaign. Once in the White House, however, he fell
on the State Department's longtime argument that the Arabs must have a
in determining the city's future.

The United States maintains a consulate in Jerusalem but uses it mainly
deal with Palestinians.

Congress specified that no money may be used for the consulate unless it
under the supervision of the American ambassador rather than reporting
directly to Washington as now.

Another provision told Congress to spend no money for publication of
official documents that list Israel without identifying Jerusalem as the


As Congress considered the actions, Boucher said, ``The State Department

made consistently clear that it was opposed to this position.''

``Our view on Jerusalem is unchanged,'' he said. ``Jerusalem is a
status issue that must be negotiated between the parties.''

He also registered objections to a move by Congress to withhold $10
in U.S. economic aid to Lebanon for failing to assert its authority
Hezbollah guerrillas that have attacked Israel from southern Lebanon.

Iran has been supplying the guerrillas with thousands of missiles for an

attack on Israel that apparently would be timed to disrupt a possible
strike against Iraq, a senior Israeli official said Friday in Jerusalem.

The missiles, as well as several hundred Iranian Revolutionary Guards,
reached Hezbollah, which the State Department lists as a terrorist
through Syria, according to Israel.

The State Department has taken no action against Lebanon, Syria or Iran,

confining itself to appealing to all three countries to curb violence.

Criticizing Congress, Boucher said Powell was opposed to the cut in U.S.

aid. In fact, Boucher said, the $32 million in assistance Lebanon is to
receive this year is going to Beirut without interruption.

The spokesman said the money is used to strengthen the country's
improve water resources and promote democracy.

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