President Obama sent a memorandum to Secretary of State John Kerry to direct him not to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to the capital city Jerusalem. Despite U.S. law, the embassy is currently in Tel Aviv, though there's an American consulate in Jerusalem.
As Barack Obama has done throughout his presidency, and as previous presidents did before him, here's the memo sent today to John Kerry:
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
SUBJECT: Suspension of Limitations under the Jerusalem Embassy Act
Pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 7(a) of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-45)(the "Act"), I hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months the limitations set forth in sections 3(b) and 7(b) of the Act.
You are authorized and directed to transmit this determination to the Congress, accompanied by a report in accordance with section 7(a) of the Act, and to publish the determination in the Federal Register.
This suspension shall take effect after the transmission of this determination and report to the Congress.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Cairo, the State Department announced. Here's the announcement:
Secretary Clinton will depart today on travel to Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Cairo, leaving from the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She will meet with regional leaders, starting with our Israeli partners, to consult on the situation in Gaza.
The State Department today again refused to name the capital of Israel, even after being questioned by the press and even after the Democratic party (President Obama's party) voted yesterday to add language to its platform stating that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
Here's the remarkable exchange from today's press briefing, with reporters and press secretary Patrick Ventrell:
Rabbi David Wolpe offered the benediction last night at the Democratic convention and made sure to emphasize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. "[Y]ou have taught us that we must count on one another; that our country is strong through community, and that the children of Israel on the way to that sanctified and cherished land, and ultimately to that golden and capital city of Jerusalem, that those children of Israel did not walk through the wilderness alone," said Wolpe.
An Obama campaign official confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD that President Obama “personally” intervened to alter the Democratic platform to include a reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The new platform, adopted this evening at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, now includes pro-Israel language that the previous document did not.
Democratic party heads rammed through the revised platform, which includes updated pro-Israel language and the mention of God, against the clear wishes of those voting at the convention in Charlotte. Here's video of the chaos:
The vote to adopt the new platform requires two-thirds. It's pretty clear that even after asking for multiple votes, two-thirds of the vote was not received. The revised platform was adopted anyway.
Senator Chuck Schumer does not know President Obama's position on Jerusalem:
Schumer is asked about Obama's position after Democrats removed this pro-Israel language from this year's party platform: "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."
CNN reports on the reason this year's Democratic platform is stripped of certain pro-Israel language: The Democratic National Committee is "simply following what the Obama administration's policy is. That the White House said several months ago that the status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in the final status negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians and that is why that is not in the platform as it was in 2008."