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tv   Relocating U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem  CSPAN  November 13, 2017 2:31am-4:26am EST

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public service by america's cable television companies, and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. now, i hearing on whether to locate the american embassy in israel to jerusalem, something then the candidate trump promised to do in the presidential campaign. we will hear testimony from former ambassadors. this is almost two hours. >> subcommittee on national security will come to order. the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. act995, congress passed an which states that jerusalem is the capital of israel, should remain an undivided city, and the embassy should be relocated to jerusalem.
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yet for more than 20 years, presidents have stalled the move. if the years after the liberation and reunification of jerusalem, the state of israel is the only nation in the world in which the american government refuses to locate its embassy in the host nation's chosen capital. as candidate or president, donald trump promised to move the embassy to israel and has reaffirmed that commitment since taking office. there are good reasons he will follow through with this commitment. u.s. policy should recognize jerusalem as the capital because it has been the capital for thousands of years. why should we reject the chosen capital city of a close ally? second, israel's stewardship of jerusalem's holy site has been tremendous, especially considering religious freedom. during the occupation of
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jerusalem in the 1960's, jews were discriminated against and christians treated as second-class citizens. host of the synagogues were destroyed or doesn't -- most of the synagogues were destroyed or decimated. jews, andistians, muslims are treated with respect. has given away to a floor shing city that is one of the world's crowned jewels. the embassy move will demonstrate leadership. decisiveness with in standing by a close ally, which is preferable to default thing on a promise. the embassy can be relocated to one of the sites in jerusalem that the u.s. already controls. this can be as simple as changing a sign on a complex.
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with anple, one adjacent hotel could provide security. another that straddles the armistice line favors as a potential site. they have delayed moving the embassy in light of pursuing a peace deal between israel and but thereinian arabs, are incremental steps the administration can take in the meantime. the state department should allow those born in jerusalem to passports. on their the ambassador should conduct part of his work week from jerusalem. they should report to the embassy in israel and not the state department. at some point, they cannot move jerusalem as it will create a pretext for terrorism, but does it make sense to shirk doing what is
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right out of fear of what our enemies might do? u.s.-israel relation is stronger than it has ever been. our countries have shared neutral -- mutual beneficial interests. relocating the embassy, especially if it is done in 2017, will make the relationship that much stronger. i want to welcome our distinguished panel today. we look forward to hearing your testimony, and i am happy to recognize the ranking member mr. lynch for five minutes. mr. lynch: thank you for holding this hearing. it is my understanding that this hearing will discuss national security challenges related to the relocation of the embassy and tel aviv to jerusalem, i would like to thank our witnesses for appearing today. thank you, gentlemen.
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enduringg and bilateral relationship with israel is based on genuine bonds of friendship and can ship that ip that areh unshakable. these ties are reflected in our unwavering commitment to israel's security, as well as israeli cooperation on a range of critical issues, economic, intelligence, and defense matters. respect toaximum jerusalem and its holy sites to israel. i joined the chairman in my own experience and with many of our colleagues, having been to jerusalem on many occasions. we appreciate the religious freedom that is available now in
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jerusalem, and we have taken full advantage of those opportunities to spend time with our friends in jerusalem and enjoy the wonderful benefits of that city. unilaterally and immediately relocate the u.s. embassy to jerusalem presents the specific question of whether such action would truly protect and preserve u.s.-israeli and regional interests. that weongly concerned must proceed with caution, that currenton made by the administration to disregard the positions of other regional thaters on this matter have been expressed by the governments of jordan, egypt, and other regional partners, would prove ultimately detrimental to u.s., israel, and regional security interests in
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the near term. in february of this year, king abdullah jordan -- of jordan reported that moving the embassy to jerusalem now unilaterally what threatened the two state solution and lead to violent escalation in the israeli -palestinian conflict. the gentleman has warned such action would have catastrophic results on stability and marked a redline for jordan. i would note that we recall that jordan is a key u.s. and coalition partner, including with israel in encountering the islamic state, whose cooperation has included aircraft missions andsupport in syria, iraq, the diplomat of jordanian forces -- and the deployment of jordanian forces.
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-- we areo walking also working with the government 660,000 syrian refugees shelter. the foreign minister of egypt, another regional security ally, protecting the interests of israel and the united states and democratic interests in the region, has called the proposal relocation a very inflammable issue at this moment, and asserted this was one of the final status issues that needed to be addressed by the two sides. egypt is an official member of the global coalition to defeat the islamic state. about 700 troops, i had the chance to visit them in sinai
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recently, are stationed in the peninsula as part of an international peacekeeping force. they partner with the egyptian military to stabilize the region and other militant organizations, including islamic jihad. in a statement submitted for the ambassador to israel under george w. bush and ambassador to egypt under president clinton notes the immediate relocation of the embassy would not only cross a redline for the palestinians, but also for many arab and muslim states, including those which we share friendship and regional security interest with. that ifionally explains the united states were to engage in unilateral action on this issue, we would substantially undermined our ability to persuade the parties themselves from doing so.
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i asked for unanimous consent that the statement of the ambassador be entered into the record. >> without objection. mr. lynch: i am advising caution, that we consider the including the israeli security interests, and this respectnd that we give to our allies in the region. butn, moving forward, proceeding with conscience -- with caution. i yield act. from have the gentleman ohio, mr. jordan, the gentleman from ohio, mr. ross, the gentleman from florida, mr. mast. i ask unanimous consent that these members be allowed to fully participate in today's hearing.
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without objection, it is so ordered. panelappy to introduce a of experts. we have the senior fellow of the american enterprise institute, , mr. mortonore gold klein, president of the zionist organization of america, dr. eugene koplow, and mr. kontrovich. all witnesses will be sworn in before they testify. please rise, raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? all witnesses answer in the affirmative.
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mr. gold has affirmed that he will tell the truth as well. you can be seeded. seated.- you can be i know, i know. please limit your testimony to five minutes. your entire written statement will be part of the record. will turn yellow when you have 30 seconds left. please turn your microphone on before speaking. would like to recognize the ambassador for five minutes for his opening statement. >> thank you. opportunity toe appear before you today to discuss the important subject of moving the american embassy to jerusalem. i believe that recognizing jerusalem as israel's capital city and relocating the embassy there would be sensible, prudent, and efficient for the united states government.
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indeed, fully regularizing the diplomatic presence in israel will visit that -- will benefit both countries. virtually every country recognizes it as the capital. it would not harm the broader middle east peace process, or heard the relationship between predominantly -- or hurt the relationship between predominantly muslim nations. this was have an overall positive impact for u.s. diplomatic efforts. a neare years, aridogical and totally scholasticism has emerged. time tohe ideal initiate the large overdue transfer.
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it stands to reason that america's diplomats abroad should be located near the seat of government in which they are accredited. leaders, major government institutions, and representatives of interests argue for the commonsense decision that u.s. representatives to a foreign state should be at that state's center of government. there might be logistical reasons for deviation, but there is no compelling diplomatic business reasons to wait 70 years. keyn israel's geography, national security institutions such as the ministry of defense are located in tel aviv, which means that a u.s. embassy annex should remain there. but cost efficiency also compel the conclusion that the bulk of our embassy's personnel
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should follow their colleagues and the rest of the world and move to israel's capital. modern communication capabilities notwithstanding. cost in both time and resources, and aggravation on our diplomats in israel. moreover, there is no substitute to personal contact, face-to-face communication, and easy accessibility, especially in times of crisis. security concerns, especially in the volatile always factorse in decisions to move existing diplomatic facilities to new locations within existing capitals where physical conditions are suited to address risk assessment. while the overwhelming advantages to the united states argue for relocation, there are
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a number of political arguments to the concrete -- to the contrary. it is important to take these arguments seriously, because many are made in good faith, but let's be honest. many are argued for the opposite reason, to continue to deny to israel the acknowledgment it is a legitimate state with a legitimate capital. the three arguments are that moving the embassy even to west jerusalem would somehow affect final status negotiations about that city. i think that stems from the general resolution, which contemplated an international status for jerusalem. that resolution was rejected by the arab state shortly after it was passed, and let's face it, today.a dead letter jerusalem will never be an international city. as indeed the russian federation acknowledged earlier this year. the second argument is it will
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break the larger peace process. if the peace process is such a delicate snowflake that moving the and this -- moving the embassy would destroy it, -- if someone wants to demonstrate against the united states, you could pick other pretexts as well. to conclude, we hear over and over again that we want to move the embassy, but the time is just not right. as they say in the state department, they only have to press one key on their computers to spit out at this particular delicate point of the peace process. we should reject that and move the american embassy to israel's capital city. thank you. >> thank you, ambassador. ambassador dore gold, you are
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up. members of the subcommittee, i commend you for holding this hearing. presidentiew that donald trump has made a commitment regarding the transfer of the u.s. embassy to jerusalem, and i believe he will stand by what he has said. -- the whitee u.s. house released a statement that the question is not if the move happens, but only when. considerwill have to many factors that is often overlooked in the debate. why it matters.
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religious freedom and pluralism our core values that both of our countries share. protecting jerusalem's holy site is a responsibility to the state of israel, assumed in law back in 1967. etched into the collective consciousness of all of us is what happened to jerusalem when we were absent and we were barred from that city, and what has happened to the holy site since 1967, since protected access for all people's and fakes -- all peopels and faiths.
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what is clear is only eight democratic israel will protect holy sites. let me stress to the extent the u.s. reinforces israel's standing in jerusalem, it is reinforcing core american and western values of pluralism, respect.d mutual and it is reinforcing the position of the only international actor who will protect these sites. argued in, it is certain diplomatic circles that the reference for any political solution in jerusalem should he or could be solution -- general resolution 181, known as the partition plan. this resolution calls for establishing international embassy around jerusalem, which is called the corpus separatum. i think ambassador bolton made the point well. this resolution is a dead letter because after, for example, in
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1949, after the un failed to protect the old city of jerusalem from invading armies our prime minister in december of that year stood in front of the knesset and talked about that. the u.s. 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 the pre-state of military formations. addressedn gurien internet look -- internet is a --internationalization. in our view the decision of 29 november about jerusalem is now
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-- null and void. lization is not an option. several years after the signing of the oslo agreement, gasser arafat and the plo launched the second infant toddler -- the second intifada. operatives in securities tiomb.s assaulted a then, troops forcibly entered the church of the nativity in bethlehem, the birthplace of jesus, and one of the holiest places in christianity. i've only, and attack on joseph -- finally, an attack on joseph's tomb. the organization that representative radel coal islam
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-- radical islam, its leader was falsely accusing jerusalem of violating a law, convening rallies under the banner that it is in danger. 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 iraqi christians in iraq. there is a regional assault
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going on against holy sites. it is underway across the whole area. israel deserves your support as it defends jerusalem from these types of assaults. as i said earlier, only a free and democratic israel will protect jerusalem for all the great faiths. >> thank you, ambassador. mr. klein, you are up. >> i have tourette's syndrome, i may make sounds like cannot control. my father gave it to me. i have always thanked him for it. [laughter] >> the u.s. remove the industry -- removed the embassy because it is the law. it was passed with almost unanimous support. delaying that sends the message that radical terrorism works, but moving the embassy will strengthen security and enhance worldwide respect for america by
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demonstrating the u.s. is accountable to keeping our anditments to our allies, we dare not be intimidated by appeasing terrorist threats. sucave only encouraged threatsh, and undermined the campaign to eradicate islamic terror. moving the embassy will not cause further instability. with egyptlationship and saudi arabia art stronger today because of strong, usual concerns and interests. living the embassy will not change this. -- moving the embassy will not change this. the waiver was not intended to be invoked repeatedly or for policy disagreements, but for serious security emergencies. senate majority leader bob dole said then the president cannot
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evoke -- invoke this of labor because he thinks it is better to wait. if a waiver were to be routinely exercised by a president, i would expect that congress should remove the waiver authority. dole told me the president should never use it, once or twice at the most. embassynot moved the per 22 years, but we are further from peace that we were then. not moving the embassy did not help. peace is impossible because of the refusal to accept israel, the refusal to negotiate, and the refusal to end the promotion of hatred and murder and violence. they are continuing to pair arabs -- to pay arabs to murder jewish people. in addition, they have reconciled with hamas. this tells you they're real intentions.
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this tells you -- this tells you their real intentions. these are the types of posters they put up in schools, honoring killers, murderers of innocent people, when they commit their heinous crimes. jig is to tell them the up, the only way to peace is to hold them accountable. no more american money unless they change. remember, the greatest threat to when israelurred offered unprecedented concessions in 2000. they have used any excuse to promote violence against israel.
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under jordanian control, 70% of christians left because of oppression, and 80% of christians left bethlehem. withresident made it clear we will statement that never see a servant -- an israeli civilian in our land. jews have suffered greatly. jerusalem has been the capital in recent history, never any other regime. i now turn to a rarely mentioned fact. the result is not very holy to muslims. -- jerusalem is not very holy to muslims. prayers not in jerusalem.
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jerusalem is never mentioned in the koran. in the jewish holy books, it is mentioned 700 times. but they claim mohammed flew from a winged horse. i don't have time to get into that. jews face jerusalem when they play, muslims face mecca. not a single arab leader visited. if it is so holy, why did they not visit? chuck schumer has recently stated, move the embassy to jerusalem now. senator joe biden at the time, the future vice president said moving the u.s. embassy jerusalem will send the right signal, not a destructive simple. to do less is to play into the -- thef those who would only way to have peace in the middle east. >> thank you.
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the chair notes the presence of our colleague, the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows. i ask unanimous consent to allow him to participate. without objection, it is so ordered. [laughter] >> i don't think you would want a recorded vote on that. the chair recognizes dr. koplow. >> thank you for the invitation toappear before you discuss the important issue. there are both challenges and opportunities in moving the embassy from its current location. hand is toalculus at balance the fundamental fairness against the potential harm to and u.s.security allies in the region. moving the embassy to jerusalem would rectify the historic wrongs of locating the embassy in a place that is not israel's capital. their right to jerusalem are not
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.n refute this feels the fear that the full legitimacy of their state, be recognized. embassy in tel aviv remains in line with the rest of the international community, and is not sufficient reason to do so. there should be no ambiguity about the true capital. reasons thatse every president, including president trump, has the client to move the embassy since the act was passed. there are three primary national security considerations for keeping the capital in tel aviv area the first is to prevent unnecessary violence. this is the most sensitive geopolitical fight in the world.
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violence committed, including the western wall tunnel riots, are sparked by fears whether they are unwarranted. there is no definitive way to know moving the embassy will result in riots or violence, but around the world will be high. this could affect not only the security of israel he's but also the safety and security of american diplomatic personnel around the world. while extremist should have role, you should avoid unnecessary risk. jordan is sensitive to issues surrounding jerusalem, and recognizes aory special and historic role in
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jerusalem and the temple mount. moving the embassy would risk unrest in the countries. it would also put further strain on the peace treaty between jordan and egypt. moving the embassy now will damage israeli-palestinian peace initiatives the trump administration is planning to attemptsd harming any in successive administrations temple,. mount. moving the . a two state solution, which is the policy of the israeli government, will be harder to achieve. it may lead to palestinians refusing to negotiate. moving the embassy should be done in the context of the successful negotiating process, in keeping with decades of presidents, -- of precedence.
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what is fair policy is not prudent policy. any change in embassy status must be weighed against the grave consequences that might occur, should the embassy be relocated at this point in time. thank you. >> the chair now recognizes professor kontorovich. >> thank you for having me at the hearing today. testimony deals with issues involving the status of the corpus separatum. i will forgo those issues in my comments right now and focus on the objections to moving the embassy, because it seems in a diplomatic version of augustine's prayer, everyone agrees it should be moved, just not yet. i want to focus on those not right now's. the arguments focus on certain practical concerns, whose
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existence of realism cannot be proven while the labor is issued. issued. the waiver is they have not changed in the 20 act'sing years since the passage, despite the radical change in the geopolitical situation in the region. they are entirely on perceptive to political developments. they can be summarized like this. do not move the embassy until the palestinians and maybe itdanians and egyptians say is ok. do not move the embassy until they agree. this whole american policy, this whole statute subject to veto and waiver. in no geopolitical conflict, in no geopolitical dispute do we give parties, neighbors, a waiver on where the u.s. embassy should be. maybe pakistan and india would
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like the u.s. embassies in those countries be somewhere else, but we do not ask them. it is not surprising that supporters of the palestinians come and couch 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 his national security. the only permissible waiver is national security. we hear national security threats of the jordanians and palestinians. theirre shoehorning foreign-policy and political concerns into this justification. such not surprising that threats continue to be made because the palestinian authority finds such threats work. they continue to prevent the embassy from being moved. waving the act based on such encitesinsights
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further threats. arguments were first made when the act was passed over 20 years ago, and they continue to be recited. states are as of now literally at war with iran. wrist with afford of the unit -- a rift with the united states. they shot down an iranian missile with a patriot missile battery. the notion they would endanger the air security over the embassy issue is asterisk. send -- is preposterous. there has been a fundamental realignment in the arab world. 20 years ago, when people said explode,street would that meant one thing. the arabs have exploded
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internally. we fear not riots in damascus. benghazi happened not because of the jerusalem embassy act. the people committed to keeping america out of the middle east already, they are fully incentivized. u.s. embassies in the area are constantly under threat. there was a threat to the embassy in cairo. two embassies in africa were blown up in tanzania and kenya. the response of the united states was not to cut and run and say there are people who threaten violence to our presence here, we might as well leave. the response was to appropriate nearly $1 billion to security and to hunt down the perpetrators and ensure they come to justice. that was the american response. there is no other situation in which threats to embassies,
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especially a major ally, are not a reason to have diplomatic representation in a country's capital. this has bad consequences for the peace process because it puts israel and a special, unique category, where its sovereignty over the capital is only provisionally recognized. it is recognized with a question mark. it is a class of one. that undermines the peace process. moreover, the palestinians base their claims to a jordanian conquest. large parts of jerusalem, including potential locations for the embassy, are not in those areas even legally conquered by jordan and egypt, and the palestinians have no conceivable claim to them. tying this to the peace process makes the palestinians' eyes bigger than their plate, and
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gives them an appetite for what they cannot have an undermines peace process. >> the chair now recognizes himself for five minutes. ambassador gold, sometimes people say we want to move the embassy, but the israelis don't want the embassy in jerusalem. i have been to israel. let's, right, center, they all said to move it. is that accurate that israel would welcome it? would it be welcome in israel? >> i believe it would be welcome. ofit sounds like act two something we went through earlier this year, where people were saying israel does not really want it. really, is that true? someone went to tel aviv and had coffee and came back as an expert on israel? [laughter] >> let me reassure you, our prime ministers have asked that the embassy be moved.
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father of the oslo agreement in the 1990's who spoke about jerusalem remaining united under the sovereignty of israel, and our public opinion polls indicate support for that. that is not the same as the embassy, but it is part of the same complex. support for jerusalem, the u.s. position in jerusalem is at an all-time high. >> correct me if i am wrong, but there is no knesset located there. the supreme court, it is all in jerusalem, the seat of your government. all the major players, the people we want to deal with, are in jerusalem. >> at the end of the first arab-israeli war, much of the world community ad buys the prime minister -- advised the prime minister, don't move your capital to jerusalem. he get some of the lines i shared with you earlier, that resolution 181 has no moral
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he declared that israel was moving its embassy to jerusalem -- moving its capital to jerusalem. the can a set was moved -- the knesset was moved as a result of his decision. >> one of the remarkable things is the archaeological wonders. our country is a blip on the map compared to the thousand year history. how was that treated under the arab occupation between 1949 and 1967, some of the destruction? since we engaged in archaeology in territory that jordan claims, their archaeological investigations were not advanced, and it was not effective. but under our understandings with jordan, we have said the administration of the muslim shrines on temple mount are in endowment forn
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religious institutions in jordan. it has been completely irresponsible with respect to the areas under its jurisdiction. example, when the northern branch of the islamic movement, the branch of the muslim brotherhood in israel, engaged in illegal construction activities under the mosque and the compound, they removed hundreds of tons of archaeological rubble from the temple mount and threw it in a dump site outside the outskirts of jerusalem. since then, archaeologists have gone through the rubble and found precious items that have been saved. so, i doubt given that record that these archaeological sites of, ife well taken care
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the management for east jerusalem changed. >> ambassador bolton, that claim was made by the professor that these arab states are worried about iran. they have a president in america who believes iran is a threat in the nuclear deal is a bad deal. will they all of a sudden not want to work with us in israel because we move our embassy to jerusalem? >> i don't think it will have any material effect at all, either on the geostrategic issues or on the middle east peace process involving israel, for anything significant. there is a lot of rhetoric on diplomatic matters that suits the political need of the people who are uttering the words, when behind the scenes you are hearing something different, which is, we understand. the issue for me is what is in
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the best interest of the united states? how can our diplomats be most effective? i think the argument is incontestable. what hurts is when we give in to unfounded pressure and intimidation, because it says something about the united states at we will not do something that is purely common sense. it is harmful to us, israel, and stability in the region. >> a statement that was entered into the record by the ambassador compared u.s. posture toward jerusalem with russia 's annexation of crimea. if we think crimea was wrong, why would we want our embassy in jerusalem? is there a parallel? >> there is a lot to learn about our reaction to crimea, but it goes in the opposite direction. i would refer you to my article on crime.
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a. the reason they did not recognize the seizure of crimea is not because they did not want to be part of russia, but because it was part of the ukrainian soviet socialist republic of until ukrainian independence. the borders are the borders of the last administrative unit in the area. within its borders, although the way it came to be was not necessarily democratic. we go by that doctrine. we say crimea belongs to ukraine. country,el became a the last administrative unit was the u.k. the presumptive borders include all of jerusalem, and thus jordan's invasion would be like russia's invasion of crimea, and would be an act we can give no recognition to.
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>> thank you very much, mr. chairman. dr. koplow, the united states is ying on theeluy cooperation of our arab allies like egypt, saudi arabia, and jordan. in cooperation to really stabilize the security interests in the area, including for israel. jordan, we have had unequivocal support from the king against isis. quoted, a he is relentless war against isis, and hit them in their own ground. he has been unequivocally supportive of our efforts.
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egypt, when the morsi regime came in after qaddafi's removal. they were considering abdicating the egypt israeli peace agreement that was negotiated aders, for which they received the nobel peace prize. there,th the regime in they have lived up to the letter of the law and secured the israel's southern border, with respect to gaza. in deciding whether we should move the u.s. embassy now, should the u.s. at least engage these
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neighbors in terms of what that present to the monarchy in jordan or the government in egypt? >> i think absolutely the u.s. needs to consider the opinions of these other allies. reliable allymost in the region, but we do have with whoms as well, we work on a number of things. to take jordan in particular, it is a vital partner of the united states in terrorism operations. troops andributes support to the u.s. led coalition forces fighting isis. jordan has an enormous refugee problem, as was noted from syria, and stanching the flow of refugees is in american interest
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as well. it is in jordan's interest to continue these things, but there are ways to cooperate with the united states now that may be more difficult to move the embassy. we conducted our largest military exercises with the jordanian army this year that we ever had. public pressure can be brought to bear and have those cut off. there are recent examples in jordan and other countries around the region where domestic politics, because of public pressure, trumps national security interests. authority inan july stopped cooperating with israel, which is the biggest method of presenting -- of preventing terrorism. security coordination was not restored until a few weeks ago. that is something that was in the security interest to
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maintain. with jordan, currently there is no israel he doctrine in -- israeli doctrine in jordan. an jordanian government has interest in continuing to cooperate with israel, but public pressure can sometimes lead to consequences that are not good for either country. in jordan in particular, it is something to worry about, and egypt as well. egypt is a partner against isis in sinai and elsewhere. in the last two months, egypt has taken on a larger role in keeping things quiet in gaza. public pressure is brought to bear in these countries, even though they are not democracies. if the united states moves the embassy, it will put much of that cooperation at risk, and is
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something we should absolutely consider when weighing the balance of interest here. >> thank you. the members of this committee are probably in the middle east, including frequently israel, but to some of these neighboring countries on a frequent basis. the cooperation of egypt in gaza, i have only been to gaza a couple of times, but such a egypt'se threat, military cooperation is extremely important. the concerns raised by king abdulla in jordan, sometimes we take for granted that we have got a friendly administration there in jordan. -- think about if we had a hostile government in jordan, what would that mean.
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is the king's concerns about his monarchy, his government being more, over by some of the not insurgents, but radical elements of the population there, is it legitimate or is it overstated? >> i don't think anyone can predict whether it will happen, but i think the king and the government expressed the interests, they should take them seriously. palestinian.ority they are sensitive to issues within the israeli-palestinian conflict, and these types of issues as i noted create lots of pressure on the king of jordan cooperating with israel or cut back cooperation with the united states.
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jordan in particular is sensitive to issues in jerusalem, as i noted, given its historic role there and given the role of the peace treaty that grants jordan over holy places in jerusalem. any moves in jerusalem impacts jordan in a real way. jordan is as reliable and ally as we have in the region. they are vital to our security on a number of fronts. even risking the danger of the jordanian government being replaced or something happening to king of dollar would -- king.g uto the ambassador bolton, the trump administration has clearly stated it intends to move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem. the question is not if that move happens, but when. bolton, when is the appropriate time to make this move and why?
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>> i think the appropriate time to make the announcement is today. in respect to the comments that have been made about the strategic implications of a move, as i said in my prepared statement, we should take very seriously the concerns of countries like jordan and egypt, but i do not think that means they have a veto. we do what diplomats 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 is happening. let's be realistic, the construction of a new embassy is not some that happens in 24 hours. first, you have announce it. then, you have to break the ground. you have to design it first. this will take place over years. there is a long period of time involved. if the decision to move forward
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floor by floor of the embassy very but the temperature of the peace process, it will take forever to build. i think it is 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. the --defines ritual in redulity to think a terrorist power could take hold there. >> thank you, ambassador. securityriorating situations, what can the u.s. due to best support israel and do toby our allies -- best support israel and stand by our allies? >> beyond the embassy, i think the greatest threat to peace and
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security remains the iranian nuclear weapons program, which has not slowed down, has been camouflaged by the iran nuclear deal. i disagree with the administration on the handling of that deal. anduld break it immediately establish a new reality. i think specifically in terms of gaza and the west bank, i think the united states is taking advantage of a potential for a reopening of the peace process. it is significant that the trump administration is moving at the beginning of its term, not at the end as happens so often in the past. and i don't know whether the chances for success are any better or worse. but when it comes to the embassy issue, the administration's effort is going to have its ups and downs michael peace processes. -- like all peace processes. downturn in the peace
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process, this is how not now becomes not ever. i think that is a mistake. when the u.s. reacts in a realistic way, it enhances our credibility. it demonstrates we are able to act on the basis of reality. that makes our efforts more likely to succeed, not less likely. >> one of my colleagues mention that when they were in israel, everyone they had talked to supported moving the embassy. when i was in israel, that was my impression, too, speaking to a vast array of israelis there in jerusalem and tel aviv. getting back to the it could caution and hinder the peace process. do you think that would impede
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that in any way and why you or why not? >> i do not think it would affect the overall middle east peace process. the embassy move has been given the symbolic significance well in advance. if you believe as some do that the united states is fundamentally biased against the arab side. that we cannot be an honest broker. of dollars are cited the of the economic assistance we have given to israel since camp david, and quite properly in my view. they look at the world events and if affected the middle east since the 1967 war at least. what possible effect can moving the embassy have compared to all of that?
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a pebble andg making it into a mountain. i do think it is scholasticism and we should move forward with moving the embassy, acknowledging that jerusalem is the capital of israel. it will be to the area north of the green line, nobody except someone who wanted to eradicate israel entirely would say it was inside the a palestinian state. so putting it somewhere that nobody is disputing puts it past that process. >> i look forward to working with the trump administration as we change direction with our policy toward israel and hopefully strengthen the support we have with our greatest ally. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from vermont. >> thank you very much. i think all the witnesses for their testimony. i think we're all strong supporters of israel, even if we
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have strong disagreements about particular issues including the wisdom of moving the capital. i think we all here supported aidvery effective 10-year package to israel. ambassador gold, you said the president made a commitment to move the capital. the embassy. thank you. as you know, around the time of his inauguration, think at his inauguration, king abdullah came here. he personally requested the president not to do that. was president trump wrong in accommodating the request of king abdullah? >> i cannot say what king trumpah said to president because i was not there so i do not know. >> let's be serious here.
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we know king abdullah was opposed to moving the embassy. >> look, let's say he was. you decide on the basis of your own interest. embassy will moving the of the effect on you? >> my question was, was mr. 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 is a republican or democrat. >> this is a specific question, ambassador. in president trump wrong that decision? reince my view, and i can only speak for myself, is that we have a decision of an american president to move an embassy to a jerusalem. we're not going to second-guess the timing.
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that is an american inches. >> so he was not wrong? recs i'm not going to second-guess the timing. he gave his word he is going to move the embassy. i believe it. >> let me interrupt. i want to say something. i think president trump is showing great energy in the middle east and with israel. i think what mr. kushner is doing is good. agree that king abdullah as a very important and loyal ally of the united states? >> i believe king abdullah is a loyal ally of the u.s. and in horton partner of the state of israel and we have a peace well. with jordan as >> there is significant progress in the relationships with israel and maybe -- many of the sunni arabia,ates, saudi jordan, egypt. >> i agree. view.y agree with that >> i don't have a lot of time.
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interest of the united states and israel to maintain solid relationships ?ith those sunni arab states >> it is the interest of u.s. and israel in my judgment, to build on those relations and encourage some. if you may give me one more sentence on that issue, the principal factor affecting the sunni-arab world is with karen. iran.with >> i take it you are with ambassador burton that we should represent that iran nuclear deal? >> know i think you should take out the flaws and come up with a better agreement. i only have a little time. ambassador bolton i just want to ask your question. is it your view that at the present time, the holy sites in jerusalem are secure with the israeli security system?
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>> i think they are as secure as they can be under the circumstances. be more secure -- >> i would like you to answer the question -- inif the president was wrong accepting the recommendation of king abdulla at that is what he said and if that is what the present. >> i appreciate your candor. >> i could not wait. >> let me ask you this. all of us want holy sites to be secure. will they be more secure, in your view, 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 moveded if the embassy is
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to jerusalem? >> if anyone thinks that israel may under some certain circumstances or pressures withdraw from the core of jerusalem and withdraw from the holy sites, you are have an explosion of violence. not reduced violence. >> my time is up but my questions are not answered. i yield back. hugs the chair recognizes mr. >>ghts for five minutes -- hicehair recognizes mr. for five minutes. resolution,the u.n. which specifically stated the establishment by israel of settlements in the palestinian territory occupied since 1967 including east jerusalem has no legal alone the. legal validity.
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that is bothersome to me personally. of the obamaimpact administration decision to allow the un security council to pass that resolution? >> i think it was destructive, utterly uncalled for, profoundly wrong, and i hope that the trump administration will bend every effort to find a way as much as it can practically be done, to reverse that resolution. i think the right position was articulated by president george w. bush that israel is entitled to live behind boundaries that provide for peace and security. the notion the 1967 lines have 1947- which are really the armistice lines -- have any binding political effect is completely wrong and indeed, the
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armistice agreements of 1949 all expressly say these are armistice lines with no political value. we can argue that for a long time but let me just say i think gravely damaging to american interests for president obama to law that resolution to be adopted. >> i agree with you. would you say that resolution past u.s.tent with policy? reg snow. asterisk policy, think under presidents democratic and republican alike, would've called for the veto. a change?made >> i think president obama had eight years heer thought israel was responsible for much of the instability in the middle east. as much as i think he believed the united states and its view of the previous administration and caused instability at think that motivated his decision and i think he was 180 degrees in the wrong direction.
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>> so it was an anti-israel policy? >> i do not know any other way to categorize it. hugs i do not either. would moving the embassy help rectify that problem? i've i don't think it would change the fundamental reality of the resolution. the thrust of my argument is that moving the embassy is a practical, efficient decision for the united states to make in the interest of greater effectiveness for its own diplomacy. the only politicalization of this issue comes from those to say that somehow they can affect a decision that is properly made by the united states in israel, where the embassy goes. that is the legislation. that is the interference. that is what should be an acceptable to the united states. >> in light of this resolution we're discussing, which quite frankly i totally agree is blatantly against israel, can you discuss with the committee
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how the action impacted israel? washis resolution completely absurd and that it stated that the jewish section is occupied arab territory. sites -- noest to practical impact because it is absurd. even throughout the world, most people realize that is absurd. ] coffs it only sent a message of the astonishing, breathtaking hostility that the obama administration had toward israel. >> and the entire u.n. a sentiment across the board addressed.to be look in the united states do to help change this anti-israel sentiment? >> they are beginning to do that
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by calling them out on their irrational and absurd positions against israel when they ignore truly evil and horrific regimes throughout the world. i think one thing that could be done then there is legislation moving in that direction is to thatit clear to the u.n. america will stop apportioning its share of funding of the u.n. if they do not change this outrages resolution. i think if that happens, that resolution should be changed immediately as opposed to the embassy not being moved immediately, that resolution will be changed immediately. >> mr. chairman i yield. >> the chernow recognizes mr. jordan for five minutes. eggs ambassador bolton, how many countries are there in the world? >> ambassador bolton, how many countries are there in the world? >> there are 190 members f the u.n.
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>> we are the united states of america, the biggest, strongest on the planet. my guess is that we have embassies in everyone. a few we don't recognize. 180 have been something countries, we have an embassy. in all of countries, the embassy is in the capital or seat of --ernment except for munsell except for one, right? >> occasionally a country moves its capital city. i look this up to be sure. for many years, our embassy in belize was in belize city even though that was not the capital. five years ago, we finally moved it. 188 countries were recognize, we have an embassy. every single one, we put the embassy in the capital or the seed of government. there must be something to that. except one. israel became a country, became a state, in 1948.
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>> we were the first country to independence. i does exactly. who was the first set of state to recognize israel? >> reach human. >> is right, harry truman, president of the united states of america. in just a few years ago we passed the jerusalem embassy act that are most everything a member of congress voted for comments i write? >> that is correct. >> i think that was like a voice vote in the house. in the senate it was like 93-5. right? >> something like that. ask for the embassy to go to jerusalem, congress does not have to do anything. something we're actually pretty dark good at, right benchmark [laughter] >> and frankly the president is not to do anything? >> and congress is willing to pay for it which is interesting. >> will have to do anything, the president does not did your anything, everyone has spoken,
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the president campaigned on this. this was a central issue of this campaign. we do it everywhere else except for one country which happens to me one of our best friends in its tire world, zac correct? this is real simple to me. this is about remembering your friends. this is about loyalty. this is about recognizing the fact that there is one country in the world and 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 israel. yet, they are the one country where we won't put the embassy where it should be. in particular, you look at what we went through in the last eight years with the previous administration at what happened with united nations last few months of that administration, this is the right time to do this thing. that is why the president recognize the campaign on that and that is one of the reason american people like him, do you think that is right ambassador bolton? >> i think it is. >> alledge just get it done.
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let's just get it done, all right? [applause] >> i am an entirely persuaded. [laughter] >> that's what i thought, that's why ask you. i think most of the panel butts up. i want to thank all of you came here, most importantly the president of the united states he said, this is the right thing to do, the time is now, particularly after what we went through in the last eight years. let's get it there as quickly as possible. i know there are practical concerns. investor gold outline them. outlinedador gold them. you have to remember who your friends are, who shares your values, the values i think make the world a better place, let's recognize all that and get this done. at that i you. >> i yield the rest of the time.
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the significance of jerusalem is self-evident to the jewish people but in america you are involved in politics. from jewishks activists, christian activist. this city matters to people here in america, does it not? >> yes. in america the overwhelming majority of people support this as they have for the past 22 years. the arabs claim that jerusalem is holy to muslims. if they did not claim that
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comment they said they wanted to even talk. one would this is a fundamental also. the majority of people living in jerusalem since the mid-1800s have been jews. second-largest, or since. muslims have been the third since the mid-1800s. muslims say the koran say mohammed went from jerusalem to heaven. what does it really say? it says mohammed had a dream. occurrence, a dream. he flew from the closest to the furthest mosque. this can't be of the claim of the furthest jerusalem. the closest,ed as nothing furthest land. so jerusalem cannot begin furthest mosque since palestine is the closest. alan stein had not yet been conquered by the muslims. there is not a single mosque and palestine when the koran was written.
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>> the gentleman's time is expired and the chairman recognizes ms. fox 45 minutes. what mr. chairman and i want to thank all of our witnesses here today. it is 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 do not have to repeat colleagues. of my ambassador gold, the first thing i want to say is i think you do a wonderful job when you present the many different cases you present when i occasionally have a chance to see you in the media. what i want to follow up on your verbal testimony. you mentioned the ability of israel to protect the status quo of the holy land sites. i find that interesting.
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expand on the ability of israel to prove as a stabilizing force for religious exercise and ward off the religious incitement? you think israel sovereignty with respect to jerusalem would be a positive influence throughout the region? it is viewsall, itself as sovereign in jerusalem today. that is the situation. now, in terms of protecting stability and security in that area, just go on a major areas to the area of the temple mount. manyon ramadan and see how tens of thousands of muslims are praying near the mosque because they cannot even get into the mosque because it is so full. on the time of
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christmas, to the church of the holy sepulcher and see all of the christians who stream in for christian holidays in the old city. 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. it operates well. 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 jerusalem or feeds all kinds of .ther baseless theories last but not least, one to make this point because it is a current point that is very important.
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shake -- sheik who heads the northern branch of the islamic movement, basically part of the muslim brotherhood. he used to come to jerusalem a lot. he had been running around israel and the region saying israel is undermining the foundations of the mosque. this heats up the whole region, the slide. -- this lie. facedy the way, he has -- the onlyin the one that ever threatened the foundation of any of the muslim shrines has been him, when he led groups to dig out tons of archaeological areas near the
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all kinds ofeated problems which i don't have time to go into. israel is taking care of the holy sites. it has been taking care of the holy sites. it will continue to take care of them. if you do not 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. i want to thank all of our witnesses for being here today and thank you mr. chairman for the time. i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back. the chair notes the presence of our colleague. i ask unanimous consent that he be allowed to participate. without objection. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida for five minutes. >> thank you.
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ambassador bolton, when you open up you dispelled some of the myths with regards to the basis for not moving the embassy. one that concerns me the most is the second point about the fragility of the peace negotiations going on in the mideast and how this may disrupted. what impacted the u.n. resolution 2334 have on the inact of the peace process the mideast? >> i think it was decidedly negative because it gave a false impression that the palestinians and their supporters can win in the halls of the united nations what they failed to win at the negotiating table. >> that they turned a blind eye to that with an extension. >> it was a catastrophic decision by the obama administration. >> would you agree that any successful piece negotiation has said the united states at the table? rugs anyone he does not
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understand that does not understand reality. >> if we are going to negotiate commish and we negotiate from a position of strength? reds i would suggest that would be the way. >> then we allow the tacit approval of the u.n. resolution 2334, which shows our weakness to our greatest ally and then we get resistance from movie and embassy because it is going to disrupt the peace process. the anomaly there is just a logical. not that anything we do here is any basic in logic or reason, but i guess the second point is, and the messenger gold you talked about this, the sanctity of the holy site. the israelihan people who have been the protectorate of these holy sites , to go out and to continue to not, again would it in accordance with logic and reason, dictate that the move of the embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem would give even a higher sense of security and a
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higher sense of clarence to -- offor an even greater these sites? i want to remind you, between the old7, when we lost city, our holy sites were attacked. >> we have photographs. was going to put them up, do not know what happened to our audiovisual. we had holy sites that came under attack at medieval synagogues. blown up by shells of the invading armies that came in at that time. that is not something israel did. that is something our neighbors did when they moved into jerusalem. so our proven record of protecting holy sites is open, for everyone to see. >> not only open from want to see but open for everyone to see regardless of at the city, .eligious background, national
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my point is, here we are arguing over what i think are baseless arguments to not move the stand innd yet we obedience with the peace process. if we're going to deal with a peace process, would seem to me that if the u.s. is going to be a partner to succeed in a mideast peace, we should show some strength. the greater sense of strength, i do not care if we wait six months-one year to reach out to our allies, but it would seem to me that our best position to effectuate peas, if peace is sought by the palestinians, then moving the embassy an end of itself would be a step in the right direction. would you all agree with me? rugs i think that is certainly cracked and i think it goes to what i believe is the fundamental misconception about the fundamental impact of an embassy move, which assumes in
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part that the united states in a-place between. when in fact if you look at billions and billions of israel compared to relatively smaller amount through the u.n. indirectly, no one can believe aqua-poison on that. e quipoise. the changes to minimus. you were involved in negotiations, one of the strategies to make negotiations work is to get the parties and to what i would call "the box of realism." if people have wild-ite fantasies that they can achieve goals there are not a chance in
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hell of reaching, you're never going to go forward. you need to create a box of realism. create an embassy. upael is not going to give jerusalem. it has been the capital of israel, it will remain. you moving that embassy and forces the box of realism and brings is that much closer to a resolution. crocs the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin. you.rothman: thank i am going to go on a little bit different path there. anyone can answer this. right now, of course the united a diplomaticns representative to the palestinians and that is in west jerusalem. is there any doubt, if you're familiar with that diplomatic representative, is there any doubt, does anybody dispute the fact except our most extreme that diplomatic
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representation is in israel? recs well, the location of the building is in west jerusalem, but a next 12 fact, and this has been true for over a quarter of a century, even longer, that consulate has been perceived at the state department is the de facto embassy to the palestinian state and that is a problem in end of the itself. >> right. just a compare the two, as far as, you know, what we are dealing with here, could you compare the idea that as a practical matter, the palestinian representative or embassy is in israel, but we cannot put the israeli embassy or the american embassy, the israel, in jerusalem. >> yeah, i think there is actually a consulate facility east of the green line that does things like provide visas for
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palestinians. and honestly, this goes to a larger point i don't think any of us perhaps covered except in the prepared testimony about rationalizing what our viewers on a potential outcome of the peace process to begin with and whether we think the two-state solution is still viable. i am not sure you can solve that all once and that is why the question of whether we should relocate our embassy into indisputably palestinian territory in west jerusalem is easily the first part of it. >> i really love ambassador gold's comments. he hit the nail on had. i think we move the embassy, it would put some realism into some discussions of their. i will bring up another matter, though. talking about the israeli embassy, we just spent a second on the american embassy palestinians, introducing a dose of reality, could we move that embassy or whatever you
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want to call it, rather than put it in jerusalem? the fact that that building is in jerusalem, does that also kind of encourage this lack of common sense, or lack of reality in the region? reg's i think others will want to comment but i think we need to revisit the entire concept to having a kind of permanent de facto embassy to a palestinian state that does not exist yet. the last time i was in the state department, the console and jerusalem is instructed not to have contact with officials of the government of israel. that their job is to talk to the palestinians. that is one reason this a job to send cables back to washington without the approval of the ambassador and israel, the question -- country in which it is located. i think this has been a native perpetuating the myth that if you think about it hard enough a
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palestinian state will appear out of nowhere. i think that is a mistake from the u.s. point of view. it is not realistic. >> ambassador bolton him do you care to comment? of thewe take some principles that ambassador bolton has put forward about where embassies are located >> if we take some of the principles that ambassador bolton has put forward about where embassies are located, it is true we don't have a political solution to the palestinian side. we don't know where housing or self-governing institutions would be located. it would make sense that in the future any embassy would be located near those institutions. sometimes there are palestinians and jordanians who talk about a federation or a confederation. this at me a u.s. embassy in oman should be involved? but we are not yet at a solution so it is premature to say where the u.s. embassy representing u.s. interest to the palestinians should precisely
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be. >> ok. quo, to reiterate what you said, the status quo, as long as the u.s. embassy is not in jerusalem, kind of implies that can become a permanent state of affairs and as on is what is operating as the de facto american embassy is in jerusalem, it also kind of leaves the idea out there that that could be a permanent cinema affairs, correct? reg's and think what you are implying and i think it is true, it gives a net effect that the palestinians have a leg up on the claimant jerusalem which is not fair. which needs to be remedied. correct. >> with one of the strongest allies in democracy in the middle east and where like jerusalem is not the capital of tel aviv but then you have palestinian arabs who have gone to war with israel for years and years. and we have something in jerusalem for them.
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it is maddening. good questions. chair recognizes mark meadows. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for your leadership. obviously, as being members of the republican conference there is always a very willing partner on behalf of the gentleman from florida on issues that are pro-jewish and pro-israel. leadership.for your ambassador bolton, would you say there are a number of people in the state department who arvinmeritor only opposed to moving the embassy to jerusalem? >> absolutely. this is a problem. i wrote about it in my book that i wrote after i was at the u.n., that there are elements in the department who are excellent civil servants, who followed the direction of the new president. there are others who think they should run american foreign policy and they have been running this issue for us on as
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anyone can remember. christ your knowledge, or any of this pplus trust a department elected on november a? no. strangely, they are not mentioned in the constitution, either. >> thank you. and when the president ran on this particular issue, do you believe 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. i think it is a campaign promise a lot of people paid a lot of attention to and it is very important. >> would you characterize this as a campaign promise that if the president failed to follow through on, it would be a major jewishintment to the community? >> i will begin as a lutheran. it would be a major disappointment to me. as an evangelical, it will be a major disappointment. laughter]
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>> it is something that not only have we brought up with the president directly, he understands the commitment he has made on this particular issue. dr., i'm going to come to you. thee is always one skunk at party. as we look at this, obviously you do not believe we should be -- the embassysy to jerusalem. is that correct? >> i believe there are national security considerations at this time they tell us we should leave it in tel aviv for at least another six months. >> what has changed over the last 20 years in terms of our national security address? we continue to debate this over and over. -- is?know who how long has he had his job? >> as long as i can remember. >> yeah, well it is the closest
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thing to eternal life, and eternal job of being able to negotiate a peace agreement between the palestinians and the israelis, when it you a great? >> yes. >> so, since he has not been successful in over 21 years in 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 will be any less successful? >> i can't imagine. laughter] i can't imagine that he personally could be any less successful. >> i agree. from a national security standpoint, is the knesset fairly secure? i have been there, it is fairly secure. are you saying we could not security and jerusalem? or you just saying geopolitically it makes a
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viable? security less reg's i have no doubt we would be able to secure our embassy in jerusalem the same way we secure our embassy in tel aviv. >> i agree. what empirical data do have that suggests this would create a national security incident? because you are just talking. i find your logic fascinating. you are just talk about how the palestinians were pushing back against this security agreement and yet the embassy is an tel aviv. so why would -- i mean -- there is something to the logic that does not seem to mesh. >> i think there are number of issues regarding jerusalem that affect national security both for us and for israel is. the embassy is one of them. not the only one. as general, as i noted in my testimony, things that occur in jerusalem tend to be the spark -- >> you were saying the very presence of a building in jerusalem is going to create a
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national security issue? >> i think it very well made. >> ok. and you don't have any empirical data to support that comment that is just your feeling being a doctor from georgetown in political science, right? >> aced on the fact that there is other violence in jerusalem -- >> could you possibly be wrong? >> absolutely. >> ok. ambassador bolton. >> on this question of physical security for american diplomats, 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 oboe, the overseas operations bureau, diplomatic security bureau, it is reckless to a main street. in contemporary terms, we would never build and embassy like that again. obviously, building a new embassy in jerusalem would give a sample opportunity to include
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the most advanced security techniques we could and i think our personnel would be safer in a new building then where they currently are in tel aviv. we don't need to be reminded of the risks to our people overseas. no one wants to see that continued. whichm that perspective involves american lives on the front and call my think everyone argues for moving the bulk of our personnel to jerusalem. >> december 1 is a critical date because we have another waiver. it would be a great message this president could send on the fifth anniversary of reunification that we go ahead and finally moved the embassy to the eternal capital of israel, jerusalem. i yield back. [applause] >> the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. issa for five minutes.
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mr. issa: i will pick up where my colleague left off. describe you as anything other than a member of the party here. but, this and you seem to have concerns, let me run through a couple quick questions. do you know where the ambassadors men's -- u.s. ambassador to israel spends most of his time when he is in israel? >> the past investors have spent their time in tel aviv. said it is interesting, because i always see them at the king david because as long as the tenacity is in session, that is where they live, correct? believe the state department keeps a residence in the king david for the ambassadors coming us. >> exactly. the state department keeps a residence for the ambassador at fouring david and has decades. ambassador gold, would you confirm that from your
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experience? if you want to meet the ambassador in jerusalem, that is pretty much the digs he has to meet you at, correct? >> it has been. it has been an american facility in one of jerusalem's hotels. the king davidt by choice. so we will leave it at, it is my favorite hotel in the city. the colony being a second. 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 on the ambassador that are the minimum standard of today's embassies? >> it does not even come close. from my own personal experience in new york, the security questions are extremely important and we do not need benghazi to remind us. these americans doing jobs for us are at greater risk because
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of the trouble necessity between tel aviv and jerusalem now. because of the insecure facilities. because of a lost opportunity of building mars facilities in jerusalem. >> have you been in me consular that exists and east jerusalem that services mostly palestinians? >> i have. it is a very large facility. que.assy-esw the interesting thing is, the consul general does maintain a facility and regularly mostly the westand out of bank, if you will, and i personally think it is a good location because it allows them a very safe location and matter what may be happening in the theybank but in fact
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almost always, on a daily basis, go back and fourth. what i find interesting is his facilities have significant setback, considering it was once a private estate. the facility is permanent and has been expanded. the conflict that exists nearby is substantial and was built to modern standards and yet, today, meets andsset jewelers some, the ambassador stays in temporary rented facilities at some location and jerusalem and has no real, proper place to conduct diplomatic business. so my question to you, dr., separate the term "embassy" at the moment. knowing we have a facility for the council general which is substantial, the actual consular type facility that does visas and so on, is there any reason that we should not have proper,
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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 in session.sset is >> i think that is a question for the big departments to decide. in this case, the security concerns are not about the facility itself, the security widerns are more about political security at the overall security situation in jerusalem for israel. >> congressman one vargas, a former jazz would restart and now a congressman, and myself, thatyself have a bill calls upon having a permanent facility to house the ambassador to israel in or near jerusalem for purposes of conducting the businesses of the american people before this nation. do you inherently have any
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problem with that portion of the sub-law? it does not say "embassy"? problem with putting our ambassador in close proximity to the government of israel? >> i haven't had a chance to -- >> i will write it with your agreement -- >> i support anywhere the ambassador would be secure. >> the one thing this and tire panel i think agrees based on headshaking is that the current government of israel, of the israeli people, is located in jerusalem. that government regularly meets there. the u.s. ambassador has an obligation to regularly be there and it is there regularly, that currentlysador is not having the standards and
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