tv Relocating U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem CSPAN November 9, 2017 7:35am-9:30am EST
>> because i had a platform, this is my 15 minutes, here i am, i am here today, not speaking on behalf of the fbi or any intelligence agency and anybody but myself but i would like to say i hope and pray i am speaking on behalf of millions of muslim americans and 1.7 billion across the globe that don't think that. i want them to feel comfortable and stand up and say that is not the religion but what is being warped by al qaeda and isis. that is my goal. >> the muslim american federal agent who requested to remain anonymous talked about his experience fighting the rest of terrorism in america with his book american radical, inside the world of an undercover muslim fbi agent. and author of thinking like a
terrorist come insights of a former fbi undercover agent. watch afterwards sunday night at 9:00 eastern on booktv. >> 1995 law in calls the us embassy to be moved from tel aviv to jerusalem. president clinton, obama, bush and trump have issued waivers on the move citing national security interests. the house. looked at policy applications that moving the embassy would have on relations with israel and neighboring countries. this house oversight subcommittee hearing is just under two hours.
>> subcommittee on national security will come to order. without objection the chairs authorized to declare a recess at any time. 1995 congress passed the jerusalem embassy relocation act which states jerusalem is the capital of israel, remain an undivided city and the american a busy should be relocated from tel aviv to jerusalem. for 20 years us presidents signs waivers forestalling the embassy move. to this day, 50 years after the liberation and reunification of jerusalem the state of israel, one of america have strongest allies, is the only nation in the world in which the american government refuses to locate its embassy in the host nation's chosen capital. the candidate for president, donald trump, promised to move the embassy to jerusalem and
has reaffirmed that commitment since taking office and there are good reasons the president will follow through with this commitment. for wanting us policy should recognize jerusalem as israel's capital because jerusalem has been the capital of the jewish people for thousands of years and is the beating heart of modern israel. why should we reject the chosen capital city of a close ally? is real stewardship of jerusalem has been tremendous especially regarding religious freedom. during the arab occupation 1949-1967 jews were systematically discriminated against and christians were treated as second-class citizens lose most of the old city of synagogues were destroyed or desecrated. under israeli sovereignty religious freedom is the rule, the holy sites, christian, jewish and muslim, are treated with care and respect. the disrepair that plagued jerusalem under arab occupation gave way to a flourishing city
that is one of the world as crown jewels. following the commitment to move the embassy will demonstrate american leadership. leaders in the middle east respect a strong horse to defend american interest and stand by close allies more preferable to defaulting on a key promise like past leaders have done. four the embassies can be relocated to the sites in jerusalem the us already controls, this is the simplest changing the sign in one of the existing consulates. the consulate annex, combined initially with the adjacent diplomat hotel can be a sizable complex with adequate security. this straddles the 1949 armistice line councils in its favor of potential site. the trump administration delayed moving the embassy in light of its efforts to pursue a peace deal and the palestinian era but there are incremental steps the trump administration could take in the meantime. the state department allowed
americans born in jerusalem on their passports, the us ambassador should make a point to conduct the work week from jerusalem and the american consulate should report to the american embassy not directly to the state department. some say the us can't move it embassy to jerusalem because that would enrage and provide a pretext for acts of terrorism. that may be true but doesn't make sense to shirk from doing what is right for fear of what our enemies might do? with the advent of the trump administration the relationship is stronger than it has ever been. our countries shared common cultural ties in mutually beneficial beneficial relationships relocating the embassy to jerusalem in 2017, the 50th year anniversary of jerusalem day will make the relationship stronger. i want to welcome our testing
was panel of witnesses here today. we look forward to hearing your testimony and happy to recognize ranking member mister lynch. >> thank you for holding this hearing. today's you will include examination of the national security challenges related to immediate relocation of the us embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem and i would like to thank our witnesses for appearing before the committee to help us, thank you. our strong and enduring bilateral relationship with the state of israel was founded on genuine bonds of friendship and kinship that are unshakable. these profound and long-standing ties with our closest regional ally reflect unwavering commitment to his real's security and robust us israeli cooperation, a range of critical issues, economic, intelligence and defense
matters, historic and religious significance of jerusalem and holy sites to israel. i do join the chairman in my own experience with many of our committee colleagues having been to jerusalem on many occasions appreciate the religious freedom now available in jerusalem and take full advantage of those opportunities to spend time with friends in jerusalem and enjoy the wonderful wonderful benefits of that city. the proposal to unilaterally and immediately -- present the specific question whether such action would truly protect and preserve us is really and regional security interests. i am strongly concerned that we
must proceed with caution. that a decision unilaterally to disregard, with other you regional partners that have been expressed by the governments of jordan, egypt and other regional arab nation partners will prove ultimately detrimental to us, israeli and regional security interests in the near term. february this year king of dollar with the house foreign affairs committee moving the us embassy to jerusalem unilaterally would threaten two state solution and lead to a, quote, violent escalation in the israeli-palestinian conflict. government of jordan, such action has catastrophic ramifications on reasonable stability and mark a red line for jordan.
i would note that we recall jordan is a key us and coalition partner including with israel encountering the islamic state whose cooperation included aircraft missions and support in syria and iraq and deployment and special operators targeting islamic state fighters on the syrian and jordanian borders working with -- and syrian refugees to date. on a cautionary note, and in egypt, regional security ally protecting interests of israel and the united states, democratic interests in the region called the proposed
relocation, quote, a very inflammable issue at this moment and asserted this is one of the final status issues that has to be addressed between the two side for negotiations. egypt is an official member of the global coalition to defeat the islamic state. moreover, 700 troops had a chance to visit them in the sinai fairly recently. and it is part of an international peacekeeping force, partners with the egyptian military to stabilize the region against insurgents in the islamic state affiliates in other militant organizations including islamic jihad. in a statement submitted to the committee for this hearing ambassador daniel kurtzer under president george bush and ambassador to egypt under
president clinton, the immediate location of the us embassy to jerusalem would not only cost a red line for palestinians for many arab and muslim states, regional security interest. if the united states were to engage in unilateral action on this issue we would substantially persuade parties themselves, that provide the party from doing so. i ask unanimous consent that this statement be entered into the official record. in essence, i am advising caution we consider a regional, security interest on this issue. and give respect to allies in
the region again, moving forward, proceeding with caution. >> the chair notes the president and the number of colleagues, the gentleman from ohio mister jordan, a gentleman from florida, mister ross, gentleman from new york, mister selden, the gentleman from florida, i ask unanimous consent these members be allowed to fully participate in today's hearing, it is so ordered. i introduce a stellar panel of witnesses here today. ambassador john bolton, the enterprise institute and chairman of the foundation for american security and freedom, ambassador gold of the jerusalem center, mister morton klein, president of the zionist organization, doctor michael pablo, policy director at the policy forum, and the professor
of law at northwestern university. welcome to you are pursuant to committee rules, all witnesses will be sworn in before they testify. if you would please rise, raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth help you god? witnesses, in the affirmative, ambassador gold, as a friend he will tell the truth, you can be seated. in order to allow time please limit your testimony to five minutes. a written statement will be made part of the record. the clock in front of you shows remaining time, the light will turn yellow, 30 seconds left, please her member to press the button to turn your microphone on before speaking. with that i would like to recognize ambassador bolton for
five minutes for his opening statement. >> thank you, members of the subcommittee, i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the important subject of moving the american embassy in israel to jerusalem. i believe recognizing jerusalem as is relapse capital city relocating the embassy, and sensible, prudent and efficient for the united states government regular rising the american diplomatic presence will benefit both countries which is why worldwide the us embassy and every other country we recognize is the host country's capital city. relocating the embassy would not adversely affect negotiations over the final status of the broader middle east peace process, norwood it impaired to poetic relations under arab or muslim nations.
shifting the embassy would have an overall positive impact for diplomatic efforts. over the years with so many other aspects of middle eastern geopolitics, a near theological and arid scholasticism has developed about the impact of the embassy. now is the ideal time, to initiate long-overdue transfer. it stands to reason america's hosted abroad, proximity to host government political leaders, major government institutions and representatives of economic and social interests all argue for the common sense decision us representatives to foreign state should be at that state center of government. there may be logistical reasons for temporary deviations from
this principle, and 70 years as has been the case in israel. key national security institutions such as the ministry of defense located in tel aviv which means legitimate considerations will dictate a us embassy annex should remain, but cost, efficiency and effectiveness considerations compel the conclusion the bulk of the embassy personnel should follow the example in the rest of the world, and is relapse capital. modern transportation and telecommunication capabilities notwithstanding still imposes costs, not to mention aggravation on our diplomats in israel. there is still no substitute to personal contact, face-to-face communication and easy accessibility especially in times of crisis and political
leaders. moreover security concerns in the volatile middle east are always major factors to move existing diplomatic facilities for new locations in existing capitals where physical conditions are better suited to address contemporary list, the overwhelming diplomatic and managerial advantages to the united states argue for relocation, there are a number of political arguments to the contrary, there are three. it is important to take these arguments seriously come many are made in good faith but let's be honest, many are argued for precisely the opposite reason. to continue to deny israel a legitimate state with legitimate capital. the three arguments, moving the embassy even to west jerusalem would affect final status
negotiations, stems from resolution 181. the arab state shortly after was passed, 181 is a complete dead letter. jerusalem will never be an international city. and the russian federation acknowledged earlier this year. the second argument is it will break the broader middle east peace, press. if it is such a delicate snowflake that moving our embassy would destroy it you have to ask what its viability is to begin with. somebody wants to demonstrate against the united states and israel, and to conclude, mister chairman, we hear over and over is that if we want to move the
embassy but the time is not right, in the state department they only have to press one key to spit out the phrase at this particularly delicate deck in the middle east peace process. in diplomatic circles, not now, too often means not ever. we should remove the american embassy to is relapse capital city. >> thank you. ambassador gold, you are up. >> ranking member lynch and members of the subcommittee. i commend you for holding this hearing. it is my view that donald trump has made a commitment regarding the transfer of the us embassy to jerusalem. i believe he will stand by what he has said. on june 1st, the white house released a statement stressing with regard to moving the embassy, quote, the question is
not if the move happens but when. it is often overlooked about the location of the us embassies, why it matters. the embassy question is a subset of a more important issue, the need for western recognition of jerusalem as his real's capital, that is vital for several reasons. what i would like to discuss is the international interest, the protection of holy sites, religious freedom and pluralism our core values which core countries share. and the state of israel assumed in law, it was reunited after
the 6-day war. the collective consciousness of all of us, what happened to jerusalem when we were absent when we were barred from the city and what has happened to the holy sites since 1967, since his real unified jerusalem and protected access for all people and faith. what is clear from a brief survey, only a free and democratic israel will protect the holy sites of all the sites in jerusalem. let me stress, to the extent the us reinforces is relapse standing in jerusalem, reinforcing core american and western values of pluralism, peace, and mutual respect, reinforcing the position of the only international actor that will protect these sites.
even today, the argument into poetic circles that the deck of reference for any political solution in jerusalem should be or could be you and generalissimo resolution 181 from 1947 known as the partition plan, this resolution calls for establishing international embassy around jerusalem which is called the corpus separatem. ambassador bolton made the point well. this resolution is a dead letter because after in 1949, after the un failed to protect the old city of jerusalem from invading armies our prime minister in december that year stood in front of the knesset and talked about that. david reminded his listeners the you and did not lift a finger in 1948 and he said jewish jerusalem could have been wiped off the face of the earth had it not been for the newly created israel defense
forces and military formation. he then addressed internationalization by quoting him from 1949, we cannot today regard the decision of 29 november 1947 is being possessed of any further moral force. since united nations did not succeed and implement in the decision, in our view the decision of 29 november about jerusalem is now and void. international, internationalization was not an option. fast forward several years after the signing of the agreement, in july 2000 yasser arafat and the plo launched the second intifada. religious sites were specifically targeted. in december 2000 in bethlehem for top operatives and palestinian security operatives
assaulted rachel's do. 13 armed palestinians came out forcibly entering the church of the nativity in bethlehem, the birthplace of jesus, one of the holiest sites of christianity. violent attacks in joseph's tomb were common in the same period. in jerusalem the key organization that represented radical islam was called the northern branch of the movement, an option for the muslim brotherhood. its leader falsely accused israel of endangering in jerusalem convening rallies under the banner inciting violence and hatred. let me conclude with the following remark, jerusalem must not left to the vagaries of the middle east. what we see is religious sites
are under attack across the entire region from the famous attack of the taliban and on the buddhas, 2000-year-old buddhas in afghanistan to coptic orthodox churches in egypt, to the religious sites of iraq and christians in iraq. .. >> from these kinds of assault. as i said earlier, only a free and democratic israel will protect jerusalem for all the great states. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, ambassador gold. morton klein, you're up. >> thank you, chairman and members. first of all i to say i have tourette's syndrome. i may make sense i can't control. my father had it and give gaveo
me. i've always thanked him for it. the u.s. should move the embassy to drizzle not only because it's a just and moral thing to do but because it's the law. passive bi-partisanly almost but parsons 422 to go. delaying implementation implementation since the best as long as domestic terrorism works. moving the embassy will strengthen american security and enhance worldwide respect for america by devastating u.s. can be counted on. and they're not be intimidated by appeasing radical islamic threats. if we allow u.s. policy to be determined by terror threats we have only encourage more such threats, more such terror and undermined u.s. campaign to eradicate radical islamic terror. israeli control jerusalem is critical to security in all of jerusalem and its renters. moving the embassy will not cause further mideast instability. the relationship are strong
today because of strong mutual concerns and interests and threats from iran. moving the embassy will not change this. her jerusalem embassy asked waiver provision has been into public view for 22 years. the act drafters may declare the waiver was not intended be invoked repeatedly or for policy disagreements but only for a serious security emergency. senate majority leader bob dole said the president cannot invoke this way to because he thinks it's better to move it at a later date. the president they are not pushoff establishment of the american embassy in jerusalem or if the waiver were to be regularly and ritually exercised by a president i would expect congress should remove the waiver authority. and by the way they spoke and told me the president should never use it once or twice at the most. we have moved the embassy for 22 years. yet where further from peace today that we were 22 years ago. not moving not moving the embassy did not help. peace is impossible so because
of the riches except israel within any border, the refusal to negotiate an à la church groups and reducing the promotion of hatred and murder of violent and speeches caught me to pick their continued to pay arabs to murder jewish people. it's an outrage. this is regime are talking about. about. in addition that the reconciled with terrorist group hamas. this tells you the real intent to break this is the emblem that abbas commissioned of the party of pulsing authority. use all of israel, a classic off rifle 50s of the night of posters they put up in schools communities and high schools showing, , honoring killers, murders of innocent people when they commit their heinous crimes. we have to tell them the jig is up, that the only way for peace is if we hold them accountable and safe that would will be noe money, no more support, no more
american money and less they change. remember, the greatest outbreak occurred not only after -- but occurred when israel offered unprecedented concessions in 2000. they have used any excuse to promote violence against israel. the only place in the middle east where the christian population is going is in israel. 70% of the christians left because of repression and at a palestinian control 80% left bethlehem. the president of the p.a. made it clear that he would cut off access to religious sites by regularly making astonishing racist statement code in a finer resolution will never see a single entry civilian or soldier in our land. jews and christians have suffered greatly. now their sites under p.a. control. jerusalem has been the capital, never any other regime country or entity.
i now turn to a rarely much in factor jerusalem is not very holy to muslims. they have not traded jerusalem and when the controller. during arab muslim controlled eastern jerusalem they allowed it to become a slum. there was no water, electricity or plumbing. jordan built its universities in amman. in the holy koran jerusalem is never mentioned. in the holy books it's mentioned 700 times. but abbas and other claim muhamed flew from a winged horse from jerusalem and a time to get into that. let's just say muslims face mecca. when jerusalem was under our control not a single arab leader of than king hussein and his visit. if it is a holy why didn't others visited? it belies the claim of holy steps.
chuck schumer has recently stated move the embassy to jerusalem now. senator joe biden at the time future vice president said quote moving this embassy to jerusalem will send the right signal not a destructive signal. to do less would be to play pld to those who try to denies the full attribute of stated. the only way biden said the piece is for the arabs to know there is no division between u.s. and israel, nine, zero, none. thank you very much. >> thank you. the chair notes the present of a colleague the german for north carolina mr. meadows. i asking and its consent he be allowed to fully participate in today's hearing. without objection it's -- [inaudible] [laughing] >> i don't think he would want a recorded vote on that. the chair recognizes dr. koplow for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, mr. ranking member, and members of the committee for the invitation to appear before you to discuss the important issue of moving the american embassy to jerusalem. as a title of this hearing
notes, there are both challenges and opportunities and moving embassy from its current location in tel aviv. the make this issue particularly thorny. the basic calculus at hand is to bounce issues of fundamental fairness against potential harm to american security and to dramatic priorities and u.s. allies in the region. moving embassy to jerusalem would rectify the a stork wrong of locating the american embassy in the city does not israel declared capital. israel controlling rights to the modern city of jerusalem are not in dispute. israel is only country capital who is unrecognized. the presence in tel aviv feels the fear among israelis the full legitimacy of the state will never be acknowledged. moving the embassy to jerusalem supports the notion of fairness. maintaining embassy in tel aviv to remain in line with the rest of the international community is not sufficient reason to do so. there should be no ambiguity about israel's true capital. nevertheless, there are potentially damaging national security implications if the embassy is moved to jerusalem.
it is for these reasons every president including most recently president trump has to thought declined to move the embassy, and they should be waitressing. there are three primary national security considerations for keeping embassy in tel aviv. the first is prevent unnecessary violence. jerusalem is also the most geopolitical site in the world. suddenly those can lead to chaos. the most deadly violence committed by palestinians against israelis including the first and second intifada at the 1986 western wall riots. there is no definitive way upon whether moving the american embassy to jerusalem will result in riots or violence but the danger of mass demonstration protesting the embassy move in israel, the west bank a muslim majority countries around the world will be high. this could affect utterly disinterested of israelis but also the safety of scaredy of
american indices and diplomatic personnel around the world. while extremist should have granted a role as spoilers that you should do what it can to avoid unnecessary risk and harm to its own property and personal. the second reason is to safeguard the interests of other regional allies. jordan and egypt are sensitive to issues surrounding jerusalem and the israeli-palestinian conflict. jordans history with israel recognizes a special and historic role in jerusalem and the temple mount. moving the embassy risk unrest in these countries and will make it difficult for the governments to cooperate with the united states and other regional issues. moving give us he will also put further strain on peace treaty is you has with jordan and egypt which are subject to pressure due to the unpopularity with the jordanian and egyptian public. finally moving embassy now what damage in the israeli-palestinian peace initiative the trump administration is planning to unveil along with harming any future efforts in this arena by visit administration or any successive ones. moving the embassy at the beginning of a renewed peace process rather than at the culmination of a successful round of negotiations will make
a two-state solution which is been long-standing american policy harder to achieve. it will throw -- and mainly the palestinians to refuse negotiate if they view one of the core final status issues as being prejudged. moving the embassy should be done at a context of a successful negotiating process in keeping with decades of american policy president and should not be done in the aftermath of a failed or stalled negotiation. in this instance what is their policy is not the same as what is prudent policy. any change in the steps must be covering to the weight against the grave and edited consequences that may occur should embassy be relocated. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. chair now recognizes professor gene kontorovich for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, ranking member lynch, members of the committee, thank you for having me at the hearing today. my written testimony deals with issues involving the status of
the structure of waivers under the act. i'm going to forgo those issues in my comments right now and focus on the objections to move the embassy. it seems any kind of diplomatic version of augustine sprayer everybody agrees the embassy should be moved, just not yet. i'm going to focus on those not yet, not right now. the arguments focus on certain practical concerns whose existence or realism can't really be proven while the waiver is issued and so the arena since unfalsifiable. but one interesting thing about the argument for not moving embassy, security arguments essentially, is it that they have a change in the 20s of your since the acts passage despite the radical change in the security of political geopolitical situation in the region. in essence they are entirely unresponsive and invariant to political development. they can be summarized like this. don't move the embassy until the palestinians and maybe the jordanians and egyptians say
it's okay. don't move the embassy until they agree. this holds american policy, this old statute subject to veto and waiver by third countries. in no geopolitical conflict come in no geopolitical dispute do we get parties come do we give neighbors a waiver on where the use nbc should be. that is to say maybe pakistan and india would like to use embassies to those countries to be somewhere else but we don't ask them. it's not surprising that supporters of the palestinians, and couched their arguments in national security terms, that is to say, implied threats of violence. under the terms of the statute, the only reason for not implementing it is national security. the only permissible waiver is national security. not surprisingly, we hear threats from the jordanians and the palestinians. that's come there in a sense
shoehorning their foreign-policy and political concerns into this justification. it's not surprising that such that's contingent be made because the palestinian authority finds such threats work. they continue to keep this embassy from being moved. this means that waving the act based on such threats in fact, invites further threats. waiver creates its own predicate. i should point out that the security arguments have been significantly undermined by recent developments in the region. history arguments were first made when the act was passed over 20 years ago and they continue to be recited as if nothing has changed. one, the sunni states in particular saudi arabia as of now literally at war with iran. they cannot afford a rift with the united states. the notion that saudi arabia would endanger itself, it just shot and yesterday an iranian provided missile with a patriot
missile battery. the notion that it would endanger the air security of riyadh over the embassy issue is preposterous pick the notion that jordan would expose itself to isis threats threat becausee jerusalem embassy issue is preposterous. so there's been a fundamental realignment in the arab world. 20 years ago when people said the arab street was going to explode, that meant one thing. now i would point of the arab street has already exploded principally internally. we need not fear rights against u.s. and damascus. the u.s. no longer has diplomatic representation to income he happen not because of jerusalem embassy. in other words, people committed to keeping america out of the middle east already, they're fully incentivized to use embassies in the area are constantly under threat. there was a threat issued to the embassy in cairo. indeed, 1998, two u.s. embassies in africa were blown up. in tanzania and kenya. the response of the united states was not to cut and run
and say while not, the people are threatened by violence to present you, we might as well leave. the response by congress was to appropriate nearly $1 billion for embassy security of the executive to hunt down the perpetrators and ensure that they come to justice. that's the american response. there is no other situation in which threats to embassies especially to a major ally are a reason for not having diplomatic representation in a countries capital. in particular this as a bad consequence for the peace process because it puts israel in a special unique category whose, where its existence, it's hovered over its is only provisionally recognized. it's recognized with a question mark. israel is a country in a class of one. that undermined the peace process. moreover, the palestinians base their claims to estate to the jordanian at the egyptian conquest of areas of the british
mandate in 1949. large parts of jerusalem including potential vocation for the embassy are not in those areas illegally conquered by jordan and egypt. in the palestinians have no conceivable claim to them. waiting for, tying this to the peace process makes the palestinians eyes bigger than their plate, gives him an appetite for that which they could potentially have an fundamentally undermine peace process. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes himself for five minutes. ambassador gold can sometimes in american people safe we want to move the embassy but the israelis really don't want the embassy in jerusalem. i been to israel recently, left, right, center, they all set to move it. is that accurate that if you would welcome it? not the issue is dictating what president trump does but would it be welcome in israel? >> i believe it would be welcomed. this sounds like back to a something we want to earlier in
the year called the taylor force act where people were saying israel doesn't really want it. really? is that true? somebody with two tel aviv had coffee and a coffee shop and came back as an expert on israel? let me reassure you, our prime ministers have all sought that the u.s. embassy be moved. yitzhak rabin who was a father of the oslo agreements in the 1990s spoke about jerusalem remaining united under the sovereignty of israel, and our public opinion polls indicate support for that. that is at the same as the embassy but it's all part of the same complex. support for jerusalem, the u.s. position in jerusalem is at an all-time high. >> and correct me if i'm wrong,, but there's no knesset located in tel aviv. a prime ministers residence is not there. your supreme court, it's all in jerusalem. the seat of your government come all the major players, the
people we want to be getting with our in jerusalem. >> in december 1949 at the end of the first arab-israeli war, much of the world community advise prime minister david ben gurion, don't move, don't move your capital to jerusalem. and, of course, he gave some of the lines which i shared with you earlier that resolution 181 has no moral force and he declared that israel was moving its embassy to, moving its capital to jerusalem, the knesset was moved to jerusalem as a result of this decision back then in 1949. >> what of the remarkable things is a just the archaeological wonders. our country is just a blip on the map compared to the thousands of your history, but how is that treated under the arab occupation between orting 9-67, some seven, some of the
destruction? >> actually since we were engaging market to rheology in territory which jordan claim, and their archaeological investigations were not particularly advanced it wasn't effective. however, i will tell you this. under our understandings with jordan, we've said that the administration of the muslim shrine on the temple mount are in the hands of -- and endowment for religious institutions in jordan. it has been completely irresponsible with respect to the areas under its jurisdiction. so, for example, when the northern branch of islamic movement, the branch of the muslim brotherhood in israel engaged in illegal construction activities in the compound, they
removed hundreds of tons of archaeological rubble from the temple mount and threw it in the dump site outside the outskirts of jerusalem it since then israeli archaeologists have gone through that rubble and found precious items that have been saved. so i i doubt, given that recor, that these archaeological sites would be well taken care of if the management for east jerusalem changed. >> ambassador bolton, the point was made by professor kontorovich that goal states, these arab states are worried about iran. they have a president now in america who believes iran is a threat, who thinks the nuclear deal was a bad deal. are they all of a sudden not going to want to work with us and israel simply because we move our embassy to jerusalem? >> no. i think we'll have no material affect at all eyes on the
broader geostrategic issues in the middle east or on the middle east peace process involving israel but really on anything significant. there's a lot of rhetoric in public in diplomatic matters. that suits the political needs of the people who were uttering the words. when behind the scene chewing something completely different, which is we understand. the issue for me as what's in the best interest of the united states? how are our interest best served? how can our diplomats be most effective? i think the argument is incontestable. what hurt us is when we give in to unfounded pressure and intimidation it because it's a something about the united states that we won't do what's purely common sense. it's harmful to us, it's harmful to israel, it's harmful to stability in the region. >> professor kontorovich, the statement that was issued and entered into the record by ambassador kurtzer compared u.s. posture towards jerusalem with
russia annexation of crimea. that if we think crimea was wrong to come hackwork possible on our embassy in jerusalem. do you think those two things are parallel to one another? >> i think there's a lot to learn from our reaction to crimea. it's relevant to jerusalem buttock is exactly in the opposite direction. of what ambassador purchase a a just and i would for you to my comment earlier on crimea and israel's borders. the reason america does that make about russia's seizure of crimea is that because the people there are not russian or they don't want to be part of russia. it was because as part of the ukrainian soviet socialist republic until ukrainian independence. under international law when he knew countries created, it's borders on the borders of the last top level administrative unit in the area. when ukraine was greeted crimea is within its borders even though how they came to be was not necessarily fair, democratic or affair representation. we say crimea belongs to you
cranky when israel became a country, the last top level administrative unit was a british mount in palestine. there was no west bank and the presumptive borders a visual upon its birthday include all of jerusalem, not to mention judaica and doesn't jordan, jordan invasion would be like russia's invasion of crimea and we can give no recognition to it. >> thank you. i now recognize the ranking member mr. lynch. >> take you very much mr. chairman. -- thank you very much, mr. chairman. dr. koplow, the united states is currently relying on the cooperation of our arab allies like egypt, saudi arabia and jordan. in cooperation to really stabilize the security interests in the region, including for israel.
jordan, we that unequivocal support from king abdullah against isis. he said we will, a quote, he's quoted a relentless war against isis and hit them in their own ground. he's been an unequivocal supporter of our efforts there. i harken back to come in egypt, when the morrissey regime came in after moammar gadhafi -- mubarak removal. they actually were considering abrogating the 1979 egypt israeli peace agreement that was negotiated between anwar sadat and menachem begin, for which they received the nobel peace
prize. now with lcc regime in there, they've lived up to the letter of the law and security the situation on israel's southern border with respect to gaza. in deciding if we should move the u.s. embassy now, should the u.s. at least consider and engage these neighbors in terms of what that move would present to the monarchy in jordan or al-sisi government in egypt? >> i think absolute the u.s. needs to consider the opinions of these other allies. israel of course is, are most reliable ally in the region but we have in our allies as well with whom we work on a number of things, to take a jordan in
particular, right now jordan is a vital part of the united states in counterterrorism operations, a vital part in in e fighting of isis. since jordan contributes troops and support the u.s.-led coalition forces fighting isis. jordan also has an enormous refugee problem as we've noted from syria and stanching the flow of refugees within american interest as well. of course it's in jordans interest to continue these things but there are ways in which the cooperate with the united states now that may be more difficult to move the embassy. we this year conducted the largest ever military exercises with the jordanian army that we ever had. that is the type of thing that public pressure can be brought to bear and have those at all. i would note that there are recent examples in jordan and in other countries around the region where domestic politics because of public pressure indeed trump's national security interests. for instance, in
israeli-palestinian spirit the palestinian authority in july stop cooperative with israel on secret accord nation which is the biggest factor in preventing terrorism in israel he cities and security coordination certainly helps the p.a. in keeping the p.a. in power. that security quotation would not restore until only a few weeks ago. that's something that was in the p.a. security interest to maintain but public pressure prevented it from happening. with the jordan as well, currently there is no israeli ambassador in jordan. she was recalled due to an instance in the israeli instance in jordan. they have an obvious interest in cooperating with israeli a national address but public pressure can sometimes lead to consequences that are not good for either country. in jordan particular it's something to worry about and what egypt as well. of course egypt is a partner against isis in sign and
elsewhere but it's also important to note that in the last two months egypt has taken on a much larger role in keeping things quite in gaza than they have before. again, public pressure is brought to bear in these countries even though they are not democracies. they are still cost that effective these things that i think if the united states moves the embassy it is going to put much of its cooperation at risk. as i noted in my testimony it something we should absolute consider when weighing the balance of interest. >> thank you. the members of this committee, in the middle east including israel, but to some of these neighboring countries on a frequent basis, the cooperation of egypt in gaza, i've only been into gaza a couple of times, but such a proximate threat, egypt's
military cooperation is extremely, extremely important. the concerns raised by king abdullah and jordan about can sometimes i think we take for granted that we've got a friendly administration there in jordan, and is there, i mean, think about it if we had a hostile government in jordan, what that would mean. is king abdullah's concerns about his monarchy, his government being tipped over by the street, some of the more, not insurgent, but more radical elements of the population there, is that legitimate, or do you think it is overstated? >> certainly i don't think anyone could predict whether it will happen but i think to the extent king abdullah and the jordanian government express is concerned we should certainly take them seriously. jordan is a country that is
majority houston. some estimates have as our to 70% palestinian. they are very sensitive to issues within the israeli-palestinian conflict, and these types of issues really as i noted create lots of pressure on the king king of jn to either cease cooperating with israel or to cut back cooperation with the united states. jordan in particular is sensitive to issues in jerusalem as i noted given its historical role and given the role the israel jordan peace treaty grants to jordan holy places in jerusalem. willie any sudden moves when it comes to jerusalem in packs jordan in real way. as you noted jordan is as reliable and erb, as ivan the region. they are vital for our security on a number of fronts. i think even risking the danger of the jordanian government being replaced or something happening to king abdullah really would impact american national security interest in a
fundamental way in the middle east. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. i just back. >> the chair now recognizes mr. comer for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador bolton, the trump administration has clearly stated it intends to move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem, end quote the question is not if that move happens only when, end quote. ambassador bolton, when is the proper time to make this move and why? >> i think the appropriate time to make the announcement is today. let me just say in respect of the comet that a been made about the strategic implications of a move, as i sit in my prepared statement i think we should take very seriously the concerns of countries like jordan and egypt here but i don't think that means a have a veto. think it means we do what diplomats to do. we consult with them in advance. we explain our reasons. we work with them to facilitate their ability to explain to their own citizens why it's
happening. and let's be realistic. the construction of a new embassy is not something that happens in 24 hours. first, you have to announce, then you have to break the ground. i suppose you to design the embassy first. you have to build it. you have to dedicated. this will take place over years, and so there's a long time involved, and if the decision to go forward floor by floor of the embassy varied with the temperature of the middle east peace process, this building could take forever to build. i think it's very important that we understand that the country in the world most sensitive to the regime in jordan, most aware of the implications for security is israel. and it defies credulity to think that israel would advocate a step that could cause king abdullah to be overthrown and the terrorist regime wishing te power there.
they are not going to do it and neither are we. >> thank you, ambassador. with the stalled peace process and to tutoring security situation middle east what you think the u.s. could do to best support israel and stand by our ally? obviously, , you touch them movg the embassy but what are some other things? >> the on the embassy i think the greatest threat to peace and security in the middle east remains the iranian nuclear weapons program which has not lost, have to slow down, has been camouflaged by the iran nuclear deal. i've disagreed with the administration on the handling of that deal. i would break it immediately and establish a new reality. but i think specifically in terms of gaza and the west bank, i really think the united states is taking advantage of a potential for a reopening of the peace process. i think it's significant the trump administration is moving at the beginning of its term, not at the end ask what happens
often in the past. and i don't know whether the chances for success are any better or any worse. but when it comes to the embassy issue, the the administration's efforts could have its ups and downs like all peace processes. and if you said after a step forward in the peace process, we don't want to risk that by moving the embassy, or at a downturn in the peace process what we don't want to take it entirely by moving the embassy, this is not now becomes not ever. and if that's a mistake. i think when the united states acts in a realistic way, recognizing our reality any particular region it enhances our credibility, demonstrates we prepared to act on the basis of reality. that makes our efforts more likely to succeed, , not less likely. >> right. one of my colleagues mentioned when they're in israel everyone that they talk to in the majority of people in israel supported movie embassy.
when i was in israel this summer that was my impression, too. speaking to a vast array of israelis in jerusalem and tel aviv. getting back to the embassy, moving the embassy, partisan congress have caution eckerd hinder the peace process. do you believe peace negotiations between israel and the palestinians, do you think that that would impede that in any way, and why or why not? >> i don't think it would affect the overall middle east peace process. i think, the embassy move has been given a symbolic significance well in excess of its practical effects. if you believe, and some do, that the united states is fundamentally biased against the arab side, that it is so much in the tank for israel have can't be an honest broker, and they cite the billions of dollars of
military and economic assistance with given to israel since camp david, and quite properly in my view, they look at the world historical events that have affected the middle east since the 1967 war at least, what possible effect can moving the embassy in comparison to all of that? this has taken a pebble and made it into a mountain. the way to break through that come at a do think scholasticism as i say in my testimony, is to move forward with actually relocating embassy, acknowledging the reality that jerusalem is is the capital of israel. it's going to be in an area west of the green line that nobody except a proponent of eradicating israel entirely would ever say would be in a palestinian state. so putting it in place that nobody is disputing cannot affect either final status or the broader peace process. >> thank you ambassador. my time is up. i just want to conclude by saying i do put a working with
the top administration as we changed directions with our policy towards israel and hopefully strengthen the support that we have with our greatest ally in that region. i yield back. >> the chair to recognize that the gentleman from vermont for five minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chas unit. and i think all the witnesses for your testimony. i think all of us you are strong supporters of israel, , even ife have some disagreements about particular issues including the wisdom of moving the capital. i think all of us your supported that very significant danger a package to israel. ambassador gold, you mention president trump made a commitment to move the capital. [inaudible] part of me? the embassy, thank you. and as you know, around the time of his inauguration i think at his inauguration king abdullah
came near, and by editing from press reports is he personally requested a president not to do that. was president trump wrong and accommodate the request of king abdullah? >> well, i can't say what king abdullah said to president trump because i wasn't there and i don't know. >> no. let's be serious here. we know king abdullah was opposed to moving the embassy. >> look, let's say he was. you have to decide on the basis of your own interests. how much would movie embassy have an effect on your -- >> my question is, was president trump wrong in accommodating that request and not moving the embassy to jerusalem as he promised to do during the campaign? >> what i am saying is this. whether you have a president who was a republican or a democrat
-- >> this specific question, ambassador. i'm asking about was president trump wrong in that decision? >> my view, and i can only speak for myself, is about we hail the decision of american president to move the embassy jerusalem. when not going to second-guess the tiny. that's an american interest. you have to -- >> the president trump was not wrong? >> i'm not going to second-guess the tactics, the timing of moving it. he gave his word in principle that is going to move the embassy, and i believe -- >> it sounds, let me interrupt. it sounds like an i just want o say something. i think president trump is showing great energy in the middle east and with israel. i think what mr. greenblatt is doing, what mr. kush are doing a good. now, would you agree that king abdullah is a very important and loyal ally of the united states? >> i believe king abdullah is a loyal ally of yours and he's an
important partner to the state of israel. we have a peace treaty with the jordan as well. >> and my adjutant is there significant progress in the relationships between israel and any of the sunni arab states, saudi arabia, jordan, egypt it is that your view as well? >> i fully agree with that view. i think what is happening in the -- >> i don't have a lot of time. so is it in the interest of the united states and israel to maintain solid relationships with the sunni arab states? >> it is the interest of the u.s. and israel, in my judgment, to build on those relations and encouraged them. and if you may give me one more sentence on that issue, the principal factor affecting the sunni arab world is what you do with iran. that is, -- >> so you would agree how am ie it you would agree with ambassador bolton we should rip
up that iran nuclear deal. >> was no. i think you should upgrade it. i think you should take out the flaws and come up with a better agreement. [talking over each other] >> i will have little time. ambassador bolton, i just want to ask you a question. is it your view that at the present time the holy sites in jerusalem our secure with the israeli security system? >> well, i think they are as secure as they can be under the circumstances, but. [talking over each other] >> -- and accepting the recommendation of king abdullah if that's what he said and if that's what the president. >> i appreciate your candor. i couldn't wait. >> let me ask you this. there's a question the holy sites in all of us want them to be secure. will they be more secure, in your view, if the capital, partly, if the embassy is moved to jerusalem?
>> it will have absolutely no effect on the security of the holy sites. >> ambassador gold? >> i said in my testimony that you should encourage the common values that we have -- >> the question is will the security of the holy sites be enhanced if the embassy is moved to jerusalem? >> if anyone thinks that israel may under certain circumstances or pressure with the draw on the court of jerusalem and withdraw from the holy sites, you will have an explosion of violence, not reduced violence. >> i i see my time is up but my question are not answered. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes mr. hice for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think it can be reasonably and effectively argued that the
obama administration undermined actually israel's claim to jerusalem by allowing the u.n. resolution 2334 which specifically stated that the establishment by israel settlements in the palestinian territory occupied since 1967 including east jerusalem has no legal validity. that's bothersome to me personally. ambassador bolton, let me ask you this. what was the impact of the obama administration's decision to allow the u.n. security council to pass that resolution? >> i think it was very destructive. i think it was utterly uncalled for. i think it was profoundly wrong, and i hope that the trump administration will bend every effort to find a way as much as a can practicably be done to reverse that resolution. i think the right position was that articulated by president
george w. bush, which is that israel is entitled to live behind boundaries that provide for peace and security. and the notion that the 1967 lines have any, , which are reay the 19 '49 armistice lines, having a binding effect is completely wrong candidate the armistice agreements of 1949 all expressly say that these are armistice lines with no political value. we can argue that for a long time but let me just say, i think it was gravely damaging to american interests are president obama to allow that resolution to be adopted. >> i agree. would you say that resolution was consistent with past u.s. policy? >> no. past u.s. policy i think under presidents, republicans and democratic alike would have called for the veto. >> what motivated the change?
>> i think the president, president obama had demonstrated over eight years that he thought israel was responsible for much of the instability in the middle east, as much as i think he believed the united states in its use in the previous administration on iran and other issues had calls instability. i think that motivated his decision and i think he was 180 degrees in the wrong direction. >> so it was an anti-israel policy? >> i don't know any other way to characterize it. >> with moving the embassy to jerusalem help rectify that problem? >> i don't really think it would change the fundamental reality of the resolution. indeed, the thrust of my argument here is that moving the embassy is simply a practical, efficient decision for the united states to make and interest of greater effectiveness for his own diplomacy. the only politicization in this issue come from those who say that somehow they can affect a
decision that is properly made by the united states and israel where our embassy goes. that's the politicization. that's the interference. that's what should be unacceptable to the united states. >> thank you. mr. klein, let me ask you in light of this resolution that we're discussing which quite frankly i totally agree is blatantly against israel, can you discuss with the committee how that action impacted israel? >> well, this resolution was completely absurd in that it stated that the jewish section of jerusalem is occupied arab territories. the western wall and the temple mount. judaism to holy sites is occupied arab territory. it had no practical impact initial because it's absurd. even throughout the world most people realize that's absurd. so it will send a message
astonish you come breathtaking hostility the president obama's administration had towards the jewish state of israel. >> and the entire u.n. there's a blatant anti-israel sentiment in the u.n. across the board that needs to be addressed. what can the united states do to help prevent and change of this anti-israel sentiment? >> ambassador haley is beginning to do that by calling them out on their irrational absurd positions against israel when they ignore truly evil and horrific regimes throughout the world. and i think one thing that can be done, and there is legislation moving in that direction, is to make it clear to the u.n. that america will stop apportioning its share of funding of the u.n. if they do not change this outrageous resolution. i think at that happened, that resolution be changed
immediately as opposed to the embassy not been moved immediately. that resolution the be changed immediately. >> good recommendation. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield. >> the chair recognizes mr. jordan for five minutes. >> ambassador bolton, how many countries are there in the world? >> we have diplomatic recognition with over 19193 members of the u.n. >> 192 countries are my guess is where the united states, the biggest, strongest country on the planet. my guess is we have embassies in just about everyone, maybe not iran and north korea and a speech a few we don't recognize. >> so 180 some country riven embassy in this country, right? >> correct. >> and all those countries the embassy is in the capital or the seat of government except for one, is that right? >> the only exception, the answer is yes basically. the only exception is occasionally a country moves its capital city. >> so takes a lot to relocate. >> i looked this up to be sure. for many years our embassy in
belize was in belize city even though the capital was -- ic ten years ago we finally moved our embassy pics we may be down to israel alone. >> 180 countries that we recognize we have an embassy, single one we put the embassy in the capital or the seat of government. >> there must be something to that. >> except one. israel become a country and 48, is outright? >> we were the first country to recognize its independence. >> exactly. my next question is who was the first head of state to recognize the nation of israel? >> harry truman. harry truman, president of the united states. a few years ago more than a few to go, 19955 we passed an act come jerusalem embassy act, that almost every single member of congress voted for, is outright? >> that's correct. >> i think was a voice vote and asked minutes and it was like 93-five, right? >> something like that. >> for this act to take effect
of embassy to come jerusalem this is amazing congress doesn't have to do anything. something we are pretty darn good at, right? [laughing] and, frankly, the president doesn't have to do anything, is that right? >> that's correct and he was, i signed congress is willing to pay for it. >> we don't have to do anything. the president doesn't have to do anything. everyone is spoken. the president campaigned on this. the american people elected him and this was a central issue of this campaign. we do it ever else except one country which this happens to be one of our best friends in the entire world, right? >> correct. >> this is what gets me. this is real simple to me. this is about remembering your friends. this is about loyalty pick this is about recognizing the fact there's one country in the world who stands with us every single time. they happen to be the one country where we get our judeo-christian value system from, the state of ritual and yet they are the one nation point we won't put the embassy where it's supposed to be.
and particularly now anything about what we went through the last eight years with the previous administration and more important what happened the last few months of that administration at the united nations. this is the right time to do this thing. and that's what the recognize the campaign and one of the reason i was in the american people elected him. >> i think that's entirely true, yes. >> let's just get it done. let's just get it done, right? [applause] >> i'm entirely persuaded. [laughing] >> all right. i kind of thought you would be. that's what asked the questions you. i think most of the pelvis. i want to thank the chairman. i want to thank all are witnesses of kenya. most important what you think the president of the united states who had the courage to say this was her right thing to do, the time is now, keep in light of what we went to the last eight years. let's get this done. let's get it done as quickly as possible. i understand are some practical
concerns. ambassador gold outline, that's fine but let's get this done. it is the right thing to do. it's most important, this come when he comes to, you can't remember who your friends are, who shared a common set of values from the values i think make the world a better place. let's recognize all that and get this thing done. with that i yield back. >> the gentleman yield the rest of his time to the chairman. morton klein, the significance of jerusalem obvious you think is self evident to the jewish people, but in america you are involved in politics. you know folks from jewish activist, christian activists. this city matters to people here in america, does it not? >> yes because a medevac the most recent polls show that americans support moving the embassy to drizzly keeping an undivided city by over four to one. it's really overwhelming. and by the way even liberal ministers, i just want to add like -- and extreme left-wing
ministers of the embassy must be moved immediately. that's the consensus in israel overwhelmingly. but in america, overwhelming majority of people support this move and have supported them for 22 years since it's been -- the fun and the premise of why there's a debate is that the arabs claim that jerusalem is holy to muslims. that's the premise that it was not holy to muslims, if they say they want to move it, nobody would even talk. but this is a fundamental falsehood. the majority of people living in jerusalem since the mid-1800s have been jews. second-largest number of people, christians. muslims are the third since the mid-1800s and the arabs say well, our koran says muhammad went from jerusalem to heaven. but what is really say? it says muhammad had a dream, not an occurrence, a dream that on his winged horse he flew from the sacred mosque to the
furthest mosque. the evidence makes it clear that this claim that the furthest mosque and tourism can be. when palestinians mention it referred to as the closest land, not the four this land. so jerusalem which is in palestine cannot be the furthest mosque when palestine is the closest. listen to this, one more thing. palestine then have not yet been conquered by the moses. there wasn't a single mosque in palestine when the koran was written. >> the time of the gentleman has expired and the charter recognizes ms. boxer five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want -- ms. foxx five minutes. i want to thank all our witnesses here today. a very enlightening presentation, and i want to say i want to associate myself with the comments of some of my colleagues. that way i don't have to repeat the comments of my colleagues. ambassador gold, the first template is a is a think you wonderful job when you present
the many different cases that you present an occasional have a chance to see you in the media. but i want to follow up on your verbal testimony. dimension topic of israel's ability to preserve the integrity of status quo of the holy land sites. i find this interesting given that detractors of moving him e embassy claimed it would be inflammatory and inciting. can you expand on the ability of israel to prove as a stabilizing force for religious exercise and speech and ward off religious incitement? do you think israel's sovereignty with respect to jerusalem would be a positive influence on religious pluralism throughout the region? >> first of all, israel views itself as sovereign in jerusalem, today. that's the situation. now, in terms of protecting
stability and security in that area, just go on the major holidays to the area of the temple mount. come on ramadan and see how many tens of thousands of muslims are praying do the mosque because they can't even get into the mosque, it's so full. come to a time of christmas, to the church of the holy and see all the christians who streambed for christian holidays. then come to the western wall and see on the jewish holidays, particularly the pilgrimage festivals like passover and others. come to the old city and pray at the western wall. jerusalem works and operates well. and changing or expressing
uncertainty of any kind about israel's position only feeds radical elements who want to argue that the jewish people have no connection with the jerusalem, or feeds all kind of other baseless theories. last but not least i i want to make this point because it is i think a current . that's very important. there is a shake who heads the northern branch of the islamic movement, is basically part of the muslim brotherhood. he used to come jerusalem a lot. he has been running around israel and the region saying israel is undermining the foundations of the mosque. and this keeps up the whole region, this lie. and by the way, he has faced prosecution in the israeli legal
system. but one of the things we have to do is expose this lie. because, frankly, the only one who ever threatens the foundations of any of the muslim shrines has been him. when he led groups to dig out tons of archaeological areas near the al-aqsa mosque. israel is taking care of the holy sites. it has been taking care of the holy sites and will continue to take care of them. and if you don't have a responsible power to protect the holy sites, you are setting up a recipe for the next regional conflict. >> thank you very much, ambassador. again i want to thank all our witnesses for being here today, and thank you, mr. chairman for
the time. i yield back. >> gentlelady yields back. the chair notes the presence of our colleague the gentleman from california mr. issa. i asking and is considered to be allowed to fully participate in today's hearing. without objection, so ordered. that charter recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. ross, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the timing. you know, ambassador bolton, when you opened up use spelt some of the myths with regard to the basis for not moving the embassy. i guess when a vendor concerns me the most, the second point about fragility of the peace negotiations going on in the mideast and how this may disrupt it. what impact did the u.n. resolution 2334 have on the impact of the peace process in the mideast? >> i think it was decidedly negative because it gave false
impression that the palestinians and their supporters could win in the halls of the united nations what they fail to win at the negotiating table. >> and we turned a blind eye to that. >> it was a catastrophic decision by the obama administration .. not that what we do here has any basis in logic or reason.
i guess my second point is, ambassador bolton, you talked about the sanctity of the holy sites. who better than the israeli people to allow them to do so, would it not, again, according with logic and reason, dictate the move from the embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem would give a higher sense of security and clearance to allow for an even greater preservation of these sites? and i want to remind you between 1948 and 1967 when we lost the old city, our holy sites were attacked. we have photographs, actually i was going to put them up, but i don't know what happened to our audio-visual, we had holy sites that came under attack medieval synagogues blown up by shells
of the invading armies that came in at that time. that's not something that israel did. that's something our neighbors did when they moved into jerusalem. so our proven record in protecting holy sites is open for everyone to see. >> and, in fact, not only open for everyone to see, but open for everyone to see regardless of ethnicity, religious background, national anything, i mean, i guess my point is, is that here we are arguing over what i think are baseless arguments to not move the embassy and, yet, we stand in again abeyance with the peace process that if we're going to deal with a peace process, it would seem to me that if the u.s. is going to be a partner to succeed in a mideast peace that we should then show some strength and that greater sense of strength, albeit deliberate, i don't mind waiting six months or a year and making sure it's
the right move and that we reached out to our allies, it seems our best position is to effectuate a peace, if peace is sought by the palestinians, moving the embassy would be a step in the right direction. would you all agree with me? >> i think that's certainly correct and i think it goes to what i believe is the fundamental misconception about the potential impact of an embassy move, which assumes in part that the united states today is in poise between the palestinians and the state of israel, when, in fact, if you look at the imbalance and economic assistance, billions and billions to israel, compared to a relatively smaller amount through the u.n. and directly, nobody can believe that we're in equipoise on that. the issue is in ab tract and some agree to move the embassy, what's the aggregate, what's the strategic change in the
reality of the region and the reality it's deminimus. >> ambassador bolton, when you're in negotiations, one of the strategies to get them to work is to get the parties into the box of realism. if people have wild-eyed fantasies they can achieve goals, there isn't a chance of hell of reaching, you're never going to go forward. you move the embassy, you create a box of realism for our neighbors. israel's not going to give up jerusalem. somebody better digest that. it's going to be the-- it has been the capital of israel and will remain the capital of israel. your moving the embassy reinforces at that box of realism and brings us that much closer to a-- >> i yield back. and the gentleman recognizes from wisconsin. >> thanks, going down a different path here.
anyone can answer this. right now, of course, the united states maintains a diplomatic representative to the palestinians and that's in west jerusalem. is there any doubt, if you're familiar with where that diplomatic representative is, is there any doubt, does anybody dispute the fact except for the most extreme elements, that diplomatic representation is in israel? >> well, the location of the building is in west jerusalem, but in actual fact, and this has been true for over a quarter of a century, even longer, that consulate has been perceived as the state department as the defacto embassy to the palestinian state. and that's a problem in and of itself. >> right. just to compare the two, as far as, you know, what we're dealing with here, could you compare the idea that as a
practical matter, the palestinian representative or embassy is in israel, we can put the american embassy to israel in jearrusalejerusalem. >> i think there's a consulate east of the green line that provides visas for palestiniansment honestly, this goes to a larger point that i don't think any of us covered except perhaps in the prepared testimony about rationalizing what our view is on a potential outcome of the peace process to begin it and whether we think a two-state solution is still viable. i'm not sure you can solve that all at once and that's why the question whether we should relocate our embassy into indisputebly sovereign territory in west jerusalem is the easiest part of it.
>> i love ambassador gold's comments, i think he hit the nail on the head. we move the embassy, it would put some realism in some discussions over there. i'll bring up another matter though, since we're talking about where the israeli embassy is, and we'll spend a second on the practical matter where the american embassy to the palestinians is. do you think it would introduce a dose of reality if we moved that embassy or representative wherever you want to call it to ramala, the fact that it's in jeruselem does that encourage this lack of common sense or lack of reality in the region? >> i think that others will want to comment on this. i think that we need to revisit the concept of having a permanent defacto embassy to a palestinian state that doesn't exist yet. that person, the last time i was in the state department, the consul general in jerusalem is instructed not to have contact with officials of the
government of israel that their job is to talk to the palestinians. that's one reason why the consulate there has the authority, which a few other consulates do to send cables back to washington without the approval of the ambassador in israel the country which are it's located. and i think this has been in aid of perpetuating the myth, if you think about it hard enough, a palestinian state will appear out of nowhere. i think that's a mistake from a u.s. point of view, it's not realistic. >> ambassador gold, do you care to comment? >> if we take some of the principles that ambassador bolton has put forward about where embassies are located, you know, i think he's right. we don't-- ambassador bolton is correct, we don't have yet a political solution to the palestinian side. we don't know where palestinian self-governing institutions will be located. and it would make sense that in
the future any embassy would be located near those institutions. you know, sometimes there are palestinians and jordanians who speak about a federation or confederation. does that mean the u.s. embassy in oman should be involved? who knows? it's a little premature saying where the u.s. embassy representing u.s. interests to the palestinians should precisely be. >> okay, but, and the status quo, just to reiterate what you said. in the status quo, as long as the u.s. embassy is not in jerusalem, it kind of implies that that could become a permanent state of affairs. and as long as what is operating as the defacto palestinian-- or american embassy to palestine is in jerusalem, it also kind of leaves the idea out there that that could be a permanent state of affairs, correct? >> so i think what you're implying and i think it's true, it gives a net effect that the
palestinians have a leg up on the claim in jerusalem, which is not fair. which needs to be remedied. >> correct. thank you very much. >> yeah, i mean, we have the-- one of our strongest allies owning democracy in the middle east and yet we act like jerusalem is not the capital, tel aviv and you've states that have gone to war for years and years and we have something for them in jerusalem. it's maddening. >> chairman now recognizes mark meadows. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for your leadership on this issue, obviously, as being members of the republican conference, there is always a very willing partner on behalf of of the gentleman from florida on issues that are pro jewish and pro israel and i thank you for your leadership. ambassador bolton, let me come to you. would you suggest there are a number of people in the state department that are vehemently
opposed to moving the embassy to jerusalem? >> absolutely. and this is a-- look, this is a problem at the state department. i wrote about it in my book i wrote after i was at the u.n. that there are elements in the department who are excellent civil servants who follow the direction of new presidents. there are others who think they should run american foreign policies and they've been running this issue for as long as anyone can remember. >> so, to your knowledge, were any of those people at the state department deleicht -- elected november 8th? >> no and strangely they're not mentioned in the constitution either. >> to your knowledge when the president ran on this particular issue, do you believe that there were a number of people who felt like there was a reset in terms of our relationship with the jewish community and finally, the united states of america? >> yes, and i think it's a campaign promise that a lot of people paid a lot of attention to. i think it's very important.
>> and so would you characterize this as a campaign promise that if the president failed to follow through on, that would be a major disappointment to the jewish community? >> well, i'll just speak as a lutheran, it would be a major disappointment to me. as an evangelical, it will be a major disappointment to me and i can tell you that it's something that not only have we brought up with the president directly, i can tell you that he understands the commitment that he has made on this particular issue. doctor, i'm going to come to you. there's always one skunk at the party and so, as we-- as we look at this, obviously, you don't believe that we should be moving the embassy to jerusalem, is that correct? >> i believe that national security considerations at this time dictate we should probably leave it in tel aviv at least for six months. >> he so what has changed in
the last 20 years in terms of our national security interest? we continue to debate this over and over. do you know who eric cott is. >> eric cott. sure. >> how long has he had his job. >> certainly as long as i can remember. it's the closest thing to eternal life here is an eternal job of being able to negotiate a peace agreement between the palestinians and the israelis, wouldn't you agree? >> yes. >> all right. so, since he has not been successful in over 21 years and the embassy has not been in jerusalem, how could moving the embassy to jerusalem have affected his track record? i mean, so if we move it, do you think he'll be any rest
successful? >> i can't imagine that he personally could be less successful. >> i agree. so from a national security standpoint is the kinesett secure? >> yes. >> i've been there it's very secure. are you saying we couldn't secure our embassy in jerusalem? is that what you're saying or geopolitically it makes a national security less viable? >> i have no doubt that we'll be able to secure our embassy in jerusalem the same way that we secure our embassy in-- i agree. >> so what em -- empirical information do you have, the embassy is a tel aviv, there's
something to the logic that doesn't seem to mesh. >> i think there are a number of issues regarding jerusalem that affects national security both for us and for israel. the emmy is is one, but not the only one. things that occur in jerusalem tend to be the spark for-- >> you're saying the very presence of a building in jerusalem is going to create a national security issue. >> i think it very well may. >> and you don't have any empirical data, but that's your feeling being a doctor from georgetown in political science. >> based on other violence sparked by-- >> could you possibly be wrong? >> absolutely. >> okay. ambassador bolton, one quick point on this question of physical security for american diplomates, i think anybody probably, many people on the committee have been to tel
aviv, you've seen our embassy, i can only imagine the heartburn that it causes in what we call obo, the overseas operations bureau and it's very close to a main street and in contemporary terms we would never build an embassy like that. obviously, building a new embassy in jerusalem would give us ample opportunity for the most security techniques and our personnel would be safer in a new embassy than what they currently occupy in tel aviv. and we don't need to be reminded of our risks to our people overseas and none of us want to see the risks continue, from that perspective involves american lives right on the front end, i think every consideration argues for moving the bulk of our personnel to jeruselem. >> i agree, december 1st is a critical date because it would
be a waiver. it's a great message that the president could send on the 50th anniversary of reunification that we go ahead and finally move the embassy to the eternal capital of israel, jerusalem. i field back. [applause] >> gentleman yields back. chair now recognizes the gentleman from california mr. issa for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i'm going to pick up from where my league from north carolina left off. dr. koplow, i will not describe you as anything, but a member of the party here. since you have concerns, do you know where the u.s. ambassador to israel spends most of his time while he's in israel? >> in the past, the ambassadors spent their time in tel aviv and having met with ambassador friedman a few weeks ago, that's in tel aviv. >> it's interesting because i always see them in the king
david because as long as the kinesett is in session that's where they live. >> in the past they haven't lived every time the kinesett is in session, but i believe they keep a residence. >> the embassy keeps a residence at the king david and have for decades. ambassador gold, would you confirm that from your experience, if you want to meet the ambassador in jerusalem, that's pretty much the digs he has to meet you at, isn't it? >> there has been an american facility in one one of jerusalem's hotels. >> so i stay at the king david by choice. we'll leave it, it's my favorite hotel in the city, colony being a second. now, having said that, the security at the king david is pretty good for a hotel. ambassador bolton, does it
begin to meet the setbacks of safety, security for embassy personnel and the ambassador that are minimum standards of today's embassies? >> no, it doesn't come close. from my own personal experience from when i was in new york, these security questions are extremely important. we don't need benghazi to remind us of this. the americans are at greater risk because between tel aviv and jerusalem and building more security in jerusalem. >> and doctor, have you been in the full consulate that is in east jerusalem that services both palestinians. >> i have not. >> i have. it's a large facility, it's embassiesque in its setback and size. have you been in the consul general's compound which is separate in west jerusalem. >> no. >> you know where the ymca is
there. >> yes. >> it's a block and a half away. the consul-general has a facility mostly in and out of east-- the west bank, if you will. and i personally think it's a good location because it allows him a very safe location, no matter what may be happening in the west bank, but, in fact, they almost always on a daily basis go back and forth. what i find interesting is his facilities have significant setback considering it was once a private estate. the facility is permanent and it's been expanded. the consulate that exists nearby is substantial and was built to modern standards. and yet, today, as the kinesett meets in jerusalem, the ambassador stays in temporary
locations in jerusalem and has no real place to conduct diplomatic business. my question to you, doctor, separate from the term of embassy for the moment. knowing we have a facility for the consul-general that's substantial and the consulate type work, visas and so on. is there any reason that we should not have proper, safe facilities for the ambassador when he or she is meeting, going in and out of meetings with the government, which is substantially normally located in jerusalem, at least when the kinesett is in session? >> i think that would be a question for the state department to decide. i think that in this case the security concerns aren't about the facility itself, i think the security concerns are more about wider view political security and the overall security between the situation in jeruselem for israel.
>> okay, so, congressman juan vargas, a former jesuit priest and in congress and myself, called on a bill to house safely the ambassador to israel in or near jerusalem for purposes of conducting the business of the american people before this nation. do you inherently have any problem with that portion, if you will, with that sublaw? it doesn't say embassy. do you have a problem with putting our ambassador in a safe location and in proximity to the government of israel? >> without having seen the bill, i'm reluctant to-- >> just take my description and i'll write it to much your agreement. >> but i would say certainly in general i support anywhere the ambassador is, that facility should be secure. >> okay, so if i can summarize the chairman's indulgence. the one thing this entire panel agrees on, based on head
shaking, is that the current government of israel, the israeli people is located in jeruselem and regularly meets there. that the u.s. ambassador has an obligation to regularly be there and is there regularly, that that ambassador is not currently in facilities that meet the inman or other common standards of security, nor does he have the ability to host people in the way that ambassadors normally do at the embassy. that the embassy in tel aviv, the other side is sitting on the ocean, it's beautiful, but it's also not protectable, that that facility is dated and by definitions doesn't meet the standards. regardless of the president's decision on the question of moving the embassy, we have a facility deficit, a security deficit, that needs to be corrected and the logical place to secure the ambassador for most of the time is in the city where he currently does not have permanent u.s. facilities.
i think that's what i heard everyone shaking their head for so as the president decides this question, he's really deciding the question of safety, of diplomates, and securities as our country's ability to do business with the capital-- i'm sorry, with the government of israel. is that one we can agree on. >> the gentleman's time is expired. >> i know, but i'm going for that long agreement. chairman. >> i know. >> can i get a yes? >> i gave you some indulgence. brian has to go on and i'll recognize him for five minutes. thank you, chairman, for the invitation to join your committee today. this has been a much-needed hearing. i'm going to just ask some self-evident questions, because this is a self-evident issue in my opinion. i'll start at the end down here. you know, can you tell me what is the capital of the united states of america. >> the capital is washington d.c. of course.
>> certainly, and dr. koplow in what city does egypt maintain their embassy. >> washington d.c. >> that's exactly right, we maintain ours in cairo. mr. klein, i'm sure you know the city which jordan maintains their embassy. >> it could have been in jerusalem, they chose oman. >> that's where we maintain our embassy, they maintain theirs in washington d.c., ambassador gold, i'm sure where sauda rabe in the united states maintains their embassy. >> in the center of american power and influence, the capital of the united states, washington d.c. >> you better believe it. and we maintain ours in riyadh. ambassador bolton, i'm certain that you can say where israel and 177 other nations maintain their embassies here in the united states of america. >> turns out to be washington. >> that's exactly right. so, i guess short of invasion,
i really can't think of a bigger slap in the face to any nation's sovereignty, their right to self-government, their l legitimacy, not in their capital. not having our presence there, our diplomatic mission having it there. i think it's a slight to our greatest of allies every single day, so in that, i'm going to keep my remarks very brief and just say this, we are the leader of the free world, that's an undisputed fact and rightly so, so, we need to be calling on every person in this town, every person in this building to lead and establish our embassy in the center of freedom, in the middle east, and that is the true capital of israel, jerusalem: thank you for the opportunity to be here, chairman, and i yield back. >> yield the balance of your time to me. >> absolutely. >> i thank the gentleman. i just wanted to thank the
witnesses for your testimony. i think we've gotten a lot of very good information, i think it was presented very crisply, and i just come away from the hearing more convinced than ever that we need to follow this 1995 law. i'd love to do it before the end of the year to coincide with the 50th anniversary of jerusalem's reunification during the six-day war, i think from a security perspective it makes sense, i think from the religious freedom perspective, the endorsement of israeli stewardship over those religious sites it's something very important here, there and i think throughout the world and i think that geopolitically people will see that america is standing with a close ally and that's exactly what we need to be done at this point in time. i will-- the hearing will-- the record will remain open for two weeks for any member to submit an opening statement or questions for the record. if there's no further business,
without objection, the national security subcommittee stands adjourned. adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> this week on q & a, we look at the lives of the eight jewish justices who have served on the supreme court. our guest is david dalon, author of "jewish justices of
the supreme court", one of the themes of my book, actually is declining anti-semitism within the american legal profession, to ruth bader ginsburg and others. there was an anti-semitic, there was a famous portrait he didn't sit for. and from his vantage point, hoover had the audacity to nominate cordozo, he wrote a letter to hoover saying how dare you afflict with another hebrew. >> and that's c-span on q & a. >> well, the u.s. senate is about to gavel in to continue work on executive nominations, two roll call votes and mid day recess for senate version of tax reform before they adjourn