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Congress & the Middle East: House Resolution Commemorating 30th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem

(June 10, 1997)


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.

Sources: Library of Congress