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U.S. Policy on Jerusalem: Clinton Vetoes Bill Strengthening U.S. Position on Jerusalem

(November 1999)

In October 2000, President Clinton vetoed the FY2000 Commerce-Justice-State spending bill, commenting in his veto message on the two "Jerusalem provisions" in the bill. Inserted by Sen. Ernest Hollings [D-SC], the provisions required that official U.S. government documents refer to Jerusalem as Israel's capital and required the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem to report to the Embassy in Tel Aviv, rather than directly to the State Department in Washington.

President Clinton wrote that the "bill includes a number of provisions regarding the conduct of foreign affairs that raise serious constitutional concerns. Provisions concerning Jerusalem are objectionable on constitutional, foreign policy, and operational grounds. The actions called for by these provisions would prejudice the outcome of the Israeli-Palestinian permanent status negotiations, which have recently begun and which the parties are committed to concluding within a year."

Source: AIPAC