June 5, 2007

HARRISONBURG—In an essay commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War forty years ago this week and published today on the online edition of National Review, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, and George Mason University Law Professor Michael I. Krauss argue for implementation of Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-45) which stipulated that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that the U.S. Embassy should be relocated there from Tel Aviv.

Despite being passed by Congress with extraordinary bipartisan majorities—93-5 in the Senate and 374-37 in the House—the implementation of the law has been repeatedly delayed by presidential waivers “ to protect the national security interests of the United States.” However, the two professors point out:

What makes these waivers even more maddening is that since 1989, the United States has leased—for $1 per year, renewable for 99 years—a 7.75 acre plot in southwestern Jerusalem, outside the walls of the liberated Old City, popularly known as the “Allenby tract.” America’s diplomatic chancery would therefore not be on “disputed” land, much less within the Old City (as if so much as a kiosk there could be found). The Allenby tract is indisputably within the pre-1967 boundaries of the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem. The only people who could object to the move are those who reject the very existence of the Jewish state. Sadly, these irredentists—from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has used “Jerusalem Day” to threaten to “wipe Israel off the map,” to organizations such as Hamas, currently governing the Palestinian Authority, whose Covenant commits it to “raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine,” “ an Islamic waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day”—are placated by America’s Jerusalem policy.

Observing that by validating “question mark next to the very existence of Israel in the minds of Arab die-hards,” the essay argues that the policy actually “undermines both the national interests of the United Statesand the security of the State of Israel.” Hence, the authors conclude: “This is why, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the Holy City’s liberation, America’s interests would be best served by making real for our embassy the words of the Passover invocation: ‘L’shana ha’ba-ah b’Yerushalayim …Next year in Jerusalem.’”

The essay, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” can be read by clicking here.