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Clinton Again Uses Waiver to Avoid Moving U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

President Clinton once again invoked a national security waiver on December 17, 1999, allowing him to postpone moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The law allowing the waiver requires the issue to be revisited every six months.

When Clinton invoked the waiver for the first time in June, some Jewish groups expressed disappointment, and some members of Congress threatened to introduce legislation to take away the president's waiver right in an effort to force him to comply with the law within the next year, but with Congress in recess and many others in Washington away for the holidays or focused on the Israel-Syria talks, Clinton's move went largely unnoticed.

By invoking the waiver contained in the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which called for the embassy to have been moved by May 31, 1999, Clinton allows the administration to avoid financial penalties for not complying with the law.