Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hilary Clinton nixes recognition of Jerusalem as capital

Peace process in the balance, she says

by Rick Richman for the New York Sun

Secretary of State Clinton, in a sharp departure from her stance when she was a senator, is warning that any American action, even symbolically, toward recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel must be avoided for the reason that it would jeopardize the peace process.

Her warnings were issued in a brief she has just filed with the Supreme Court — in which she is arguing that a law she voted for when she was Senator is unconstitutional because it could require the U.S. government to give to an American citizen born at Jerusalem papers showing the birthplace as Israel.

The law requiring the government to issue such documents on request passed the Senate unanimously at a time when Mrs. Clinton was a member. But Presidents Bush and Obama have taken the position that the law infringes on the president’s prerogatives in respect of foreign policy. Mrs. Clinton is being sued by an American youngster, Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born at Jerusalem in 2002 to American parents who want his birthplace to be listed on his passport as Israel.

In addition to citing the peace process as the excuse for not issuing the birth document the Congress wants issued, Mrs. Clinton’s brief adds a new twist to the story of the White House photos first disclosed last month by the New York Sun. The story involved the discovery that even while the White House was fretting over the requirement to list Jerusalem, Israel, as Master Zivotofsky’s birthplace, the White House’s own website was featuring a series of pictures from Vice President Biden’s 2010 trip to the Jewish state and identifying the pictures as showing him at “Jerusalem, Israel.” The Sun queried whether the Zivotofsky case really rose to constitutional proportions, since the White House on its own website treated Jerusalem as being in Israel.

Five days later, the White House removed “Israel” from each of the Biden pictures, without announcing the deletion. The State Department also quietly deleted “Israel” from references to “Jerusalem, Israel” on numerous official documents on its own website, dating from the Bush administration...

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