By Rick Richman
In 1995, the United States Congress, on a bipartisan basis, passed the "Jerusalem Embassy Act," based on explicit findings written into the law, in which the Congress found that:
(1) every nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital;
(2) Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the spiritual center of Judaism;
(3) since 1967, it has been a united city administered by Israel, and persons of all religious faiths have been guaranteed full access to holy sites within the city; and
(4) Congress ‘‘strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.”
The law provided that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999."
Every president since then has promised during his presidential campaign to implement that law, but until yesterday, it remained unimplemented. Yesterday -- 23 years after that law was enacted -- it became a reality.
It is a historic day for Israel, for the American-Israeli alliance, and for those who recognize that peace in the region requires -- as both Republicans and Democrats legislated two-and-a-half decades ago -- recognition of an undivided city, in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group should be protected, as they have been for the last 50 years by the State of Israel, after the city was reunited by Israel.