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From Media@adc.org Fri Aug 11 15:45:51 2000
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 22:23:41 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Media@adc.org" <Media@adc.org>
Subject: ADC: ACJ Urges Senator Lieberman to Reconsider his Position
Article: 102398
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
X-UIDL: b664e07d0d82f51c83254c7f5ec586f1

ACJ Urges Senator Lieberman to Reconsider his Position

American Committee on Jerusalem Press Release
11 August 2000

WASHINGTON, DC ACJ President Dr. Rashid Khalidi urged Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman today to reconsider his position on Jerusalem. In a letter to Lieberman, Khalidi said: "The fate of Jerusalem is a fundamental issue that must be decided through direct negotiations between the parties. It is a matter of deep concern for many people in the world for Jerusalem to be treated as a matter of political expediency."

On Larry King Live, on Tuesday, August 8, Senator Lieberman remarked: "It just seems to me that in every other country in the world, we put our embassy in the city that the country says is its capital. 'I think it would not be a good idea to do that while there is still the flame of hope burning about Camp David. 'the piece of land' which we already have designated for American embassy in Jerusalem -- it is in a part of Jerusalem that was Israeli back to 1948."

In his letter to Lieberman, Khalidi explained that:

  • Since 1948, no U.S. administration has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital or recognized unilateral actions by any state in the area as affecting the status of that city. The embassy move is not solely an issue of timing, as implied in Lieberman's remarks.
  • Israel and the PLO formally agreed in 1993 that they would negotiate the issue of Jerusalem. Moving the embassy and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital flouts international law and unanimous United Nations Resolutions for which the United States voted.
  • The designated site on which the embassy is to be built is stolen land. The findings of a 3-year investigation by Professor Walid Khalidi, an internationally recognized historian and scholar of the Middle East, proved beyond any doubt that the ownership of that plot of land is largely a combination of Palestinian private property and Waqf (Muslim religious endowment) property, for which the British government was paying rent until the moment it left Palestine in May, 1948. Besides, many of the owners are U.S. citizens. No U.S. administration should allow a diplomatic facility to be erected on land which is subject to dispute, and some of which is owned by U.S. citizens.

The American Committee on Jerusalem believes that any unilateral action that the United States may take before the two sides reach an agreement on the issue of Jerusalem would be a profound insult to the sentiments and deep attachment to Jerusalem of the Palestinians, the Arab and Muslim peoples, and the Christian religious communities, all of whom have a stake in the future of the city. It would also make a mockery of the neutral status of the United States as a mediator between the two sides.

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