[pjw] UPDATE on Israel embassy move: Wyden replies

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Thu Apr 1 17:33:12 EDT 2021

Hi again PJW supporters

On March 9, we sent you the reply we'd received from Sen. Merkley's office 
about the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem (from Tel Aviv), promising to 
look into the matter.

Today, we received the below response from Sen. Wyden, which dances around 
the issues we raised saying the move appears to violate UN resolutions.

I guess the positive thing here is he says the boundaries have to be 
decided by Israelis and Palestinians working together, but overall this is 
both a disappointment and not much of a surprise. Wyden rarely takes 
stands that could even be perceived as criticizing Israel.

dan handelman
peace and justice works

Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2021 14:14:19
From: Senator Ron Wyden <senator_wyden at wyden.senate.gov>
To: pjw at pjw.info
Subject: Response from Senator Ron Wyden to your e-mail

Dear Peace:

Thank you for contacting me about the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. I 
appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

As you may know, Donald Trump moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to 
Jerusalem in May 2018. I supported the move because Israel has the same 
right that every country has to designate its own national capital. In 
fact, Congress enacted a bipartisan law in 1995 to move the embassy to 
Jerusalem on that basis and has reaffirmed the law since. When he 
announced the move, Donald Trump clarified that he wasn't taking a 
position on Jerusalem's geographic boundaries, which must be determined 
through direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians. The Biden 
administration has taken the same position, leaving the U.S. embassy in 
Jerusalem and reiterating that Jerusalem's final status must be determined 
through direct negotiations between the parties.

I thank you again for keeping me apprised of your views and want you to 
know that I continue to support direct negotiations toward two-state 
solution and a just and lasting peace. If I can be of any further 
assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

                                                 Ron Wyden
                                                  United States Senator

On Tue, 9 Mar 2021, Peace and Justice Works wrote:

> PJW supporters
> On Friday we received what looked like a form letter from Sen. Jeff Merkley 
> about our calling him out for supporting moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv 
> to Jerusalem.
> On closer inspection at last night's Iraq Affinity Group meeting,* I realized 
> he was saying he'd heard from other people and is having staff look into the 
> issue. Since this is the person who looked into Trump's practice of putting 
> immigrant children in cages, I think this may be more than a "move along, 
> nothing to see here" email. You decide-- I've pasted his reply above our 
> original email, below.
> By the way it says "Dear Peace and" because I put our name in as "Peace and" 
> "Justice Works" in the online form.
> --dan handelman
> peace and justice works iraq affinity group
> *- heads up, we're going to experiment for a while with the IAG meetings 
> moving to the (bear with me here) Tuesday after the second Monday of each 
> month. This is so that on months that begin on Tuesdays, I don't end up with 
> back-to-back Portland Copwatch and IAG meetings. So the next meeting will be 
> Tuesday, April 13 at 7 PM, and meetings will then always be on the 9th, 10th, 
> 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th or 15th (third Tuesday) after that.
> ----------------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2021 12:58:21
> From: Senator Jeff Merkley <Senator_Merkley at Merkley.senate.gov>
> To: pjw at pjw.info
> Subject: In response to your email
> Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley
> Dear Peace and,
> Thank you for contacting me to share your concerns about maintaining the 
> United States Embassy in Jerusalem. I appreciate you raising this issue with 
> me.
> Thanks to your message and correspondence from fellow Oregonians, who have 
> also expressed concerns, my staff is taking a closer look into this matter.
> Again, I have made note of your points and appreciate your input. I hope you 
> will continue to send your observations and thoughts my way.
> All my best,
> Jeffrey A. Merkley
> United States Senator

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Tue, 9 Feb 2021 14:36:13
> From: Peace and Justice Works <pjw at pjw.info>
> Subject: [pjw] LETTER to OR Senators: Vote to support US embassy in Jerusalem
>     illegal
> PJW supporters
> We just sent the below message to both Senators Ron Wyden
> https://www.wyden.senate.gov/contact/email-ron
> and Jeff Merkley
> https://www.merkley.senate.gov/contact .
> Feel free to share, and to send your own letters if you agree that their vote 
> last week was inappropriate.
> dan handelman
> peace and justice works
> Senators Wyden and Merkley:
> We were very disappointed to read that the Senate voted almost unanimously to 
> keep the US' Israeli embassy in Jerusalem, and more so that each of you were 
> among the "yes" votes. The move from Tel Aviv violated international norms 
> and sent a clear signal that the US was not interested in a meaningful 
> solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
> https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/us-embassy-in-jerusalem-wins-bipartisan-senate-support-in-near-unanimous-vote/ar-BB1dpWzw
> This is in contradiction to both a UN Security Council and separate General 
> Assembly Resolution.
> United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 (1980) notes that Jerusalem is 
> part of the occupied territories and condemned Israel for declaring it the 
> capital. The US abstained on this vote.
> United Nations General Assembly Resolution ES.10/L.22 (2017) voided the 
> legitimacy of Jerusalem as the capital after the US declared they would 
> recognize it. This Resolution passed 128-9, with the US among the only nine 
> countries in the world voting against it.
> Moreover, even the United Arab Emirates, which was coerced by President Trump 
> to recognize Israel in exchange for military gear, is planning to open its 
> diplomatic headquarters in Tel Aviv.
> https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/24/uae-cabinet-approves-establishing-embassy-in-tel-aviv
> We urge you to take public feedback, check in with international partners 
> including the United Nations, and raise the issue again in the Senate in 
> order to reverse the US' unlawful decision and keep open the possibility of a 
> just and lasting solution that is fair to the Palestinian people.
> dan handelman and other members of
> peace and justice works
> portland, or

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