Ten years ago, House Concurrent Resolution 60, sponsored by then-Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and approved by a vote of 406-17, read as follows:
Whereas for 3,000 years Jerusalem has been the focal point of Jewish religious devotion;
Whereas Jerusalem today is also considered a holy city by members of the Christian and Muslim faiths;
Whereas there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem for three millennia and a Jewish majority in the city since the 1840's;
Whereas the once thriving Jewish majority of the historic Old City of Jerusalem was driven out by force during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War;
Whereas from 1948 to 1967 Jerusalem was a divided city and Israeli citizens of all faiths as well as Jewish citizens of all states were denied access to holy sites in the area controlled by Jordan;
Whereas in 1967 Jerusalem was reunited by Israel during the conflict known as the Six Day War;
Whereas since 1967 Jerusalem has been a united city, and persons of all religious faiths have been guaranteed full access to holy sites within the city;
Whereas this year marks the 30th year that Jerusalem has been administered as a unified city in which the rights of all faiths have been respected and protected;
Whereas in 1990 the United States Senate and House of Representatives overwhelmingly adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 106 and House Concurrent Resolution 290 declaring that Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, `must remain an undivided city' and calling on Israel and the Palestinians to undertake negotiations to resolve their differences;
Whereas Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel later cited Senate Concurrent Resolution 106 as having `helped our neighbors reach the negotiating table' to produce the historic Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, signed in Washington, D.C. on September 13, 1993; and
Whereas the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-45), which became law on November 8, 1995, states as a matter of United States policy that Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the Congress--
(1) congratulates the residents of Jerusalem and the people of Israel on the 30th anniversary of the reunification of that historic city;
(2) strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected as they have been by Israel during the past 30 years;
(3) calls upon the President and the Secretary of State to affirm publicly as a matter of United States policy that Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of the State of Israel; and
(4) urges United States officials to refrain from any actions that contradict this policy.
Passed the House of Representatives June 10, 1997.
As far as I can tell (and I'm not sure why this information is so hard to come by), that was the last concurrent resolution passed by Congress in commemoration of the reunification of Jerusalem. Not that it was the last resolution introduced. As recently as last year, a similar resolution apparently failed to make it to a vote.
This year's effort is H. Con. Res. 131 and, like last year's, it's a bit beefier. Among other things, it contains the following additional elements:
(5) strongly urges the President to discontinue the waiver contained in the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-45), immediately implement the provisions of that Act, and begin the process of relocating the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem;
[ . . . ] and
(7) reaffirms Israel's right to take necessary steps to prevent any future division of Jerusalem.
Tough call. Big anniversary and Congress usually steps up on those. But my guess is the stronger language won't pass, given the current bunch on the Hill. Meanwhile, the various foreign services do their thing.
The European Union and the US are putting a crimp in Israel's celebration of 40 years since Jerusalem's reunification by not sending representatives to Monday's Knesset ceremony marking the occasion.
While the EU sent a letter to the Foreign Ministry making clear it would not participate in the Jerusalem Day event, the American absence is more one of default. US Ambassador Richard Jones is not expected to attend, but his government has not said why.
Either way, the snub has infuriated Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, who in an unusually harsh statement said, "Whoever does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel also does not recognize the State of Israel."
26 Iyar 5727. "The Temple Mount is in our hands."
Yom Yerushalayim sameach.