Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum wrote this op-ed on Jerusalem published in the New York Daily News on April 9, 2012.
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Jerusalem is the capital of Israel
Obama and Romney won't state this basic fact
There is, sadly, a huge divide between the Obama administration's position and that of the government of Israel with regard to Jerusalem.
For thousands of years, at the end of the Passover Seder as well as at the end of Yom Kippur, Jews around the world conclude their holiday by reciting, "Next Year in Jerusalem."
To Jews, Jerusalem is the holiest city, and has the holiest site, the Temple Mount, which includes the Western Wall. Jews praying outside of Jerusalem face toward Jerusalem. When Israel became a state more than 60 years ago, Jerusalem, though it was divided at the time and the Western Wall was in Jordanian hands, was declared Israel's capital.
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case brought by an American Jewish family, the Zivotofskys, whose child was born in West Jerusalem in 2002. The Obama administration, following the Bush administration's policy, opposed listing "Jerusalem, Israel" as the birthplace on the child's American passport — despite a U.S. law requiring such a listing.
The U.S. Supreme Court, by an 8-1 margin, decided that the State Department could not wantonly break such a law and prevent the judiciary from reviewing that breach. I agree with that decision.
Even more startling than this refusal to list "Jerusalem, Israel" as the birthplace on an American passport was an exchange at a March 2012 Obama State Department press briefing. In an exchange with Associated Press reporter Matt Lee, the spokeswoman made it clear that even Jerusalem's western part, the Jewish side of the city, controlled by Israel since 1949, is not recognized as part of Israel.
The question was asked repeatedly:
Q: "What is the capital of Israel?"
A: "Our policy with regard to Jerusalem is that it has to be solved through negotiations. That's all I have to say on this issue."
The conversation continued:
Q: "Is it your — is it your position that all of Jerusalem is a final-status issue, or do you think — or is it just East Jerusalem?"
A: "Matt, I don't have anything further to what I've said 17 times on that subject. Okay?"
Q: "All right. So hold on. So I just want to make sure. You're saying that all of Jerusalem, not just East Jerusalem, is a final-status issue."
A: "Matt, I don't have anything further on Jerusalem to what I've already said."
The Obama administration is thus saying that it does not even recognize Israel within its indefensible 1949 borders but that somehow it will protect Israel's security?
It has been longstanding U.S. policy not to officially recognize any part of Jerusalem as part of Israel — and it is dead wrong.
Never has Israel ever offered Western Jerusalem in a negotiation, so why would the administration keep this totally Jewish section of the city in question?
The Israeli Gaza withdrawal and the missiles that are launching from there into Israeli cities demonstrates that any Israeli withdrawal from any part of Jerusalem would leave Israel without defensible borders. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated, as have other Israeli prime ministers, that he will never divide Jerusalem.
Unfortunately, I cannot say that my opponent for the Republican Presidential nomination has a different position from that of the President. He has not expressed his opinion about the Obama administration's position on Jerusalem.
When asked about recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving our embassy there, Mitt Romney is undecided, and said he would consult with the government of Israel. He has been running for President for six years, and I think that is long enough for him to get up to speed on foreign policy and make a decision on this crucial issue.
There is no daylight between my position and the government of Israel's on the issue of Jerusalem. I voted for the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, I support recognizing a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and I will move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem in compliance with that act.
It is actually not well known that the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 made it U.S. law to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and that the waiver provision of the act only applied to moving the embassy to Jerusalem. A letter to President Bill Clinton — signed by 84 U.S. senators, including me — articulated this point.
We know the Obama administration is not complying with U.S. law. We do not know what a potential Romney administration would do. A Santorum administration would mean that next year, there will be a Passover Seder at the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem — and when Jews say, "Next Year in Jerusalem," that will actually be the case for the U.S. Embassy.
Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, is running for the Republican nomination for President.