Despite President Donald Trump’s formal declaration that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the U.S. will still not recognize Jerusalem on official documents, maps and passports.
Wait, what’s going on?
According to the Washington Free Beacon, for the time being, the State Department still won’t recognize “Jerusalem, Israel” as a place that actually exists.
The State Department last week acknowledged at news conferences that Trump had declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, but when asked if the U.S. government will officially recognize Jerusalem as a place that exists within Israel, officials refused to acknowledge the holy city.
"Where Is Jerusalem??": The @StateDept acknowledges that Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but this what happens when @APDiploWriter asks where Jerusalem is… pic.twitter.com/R45M2OxTX1
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) December 8, 2017
State Department officials told the Free Beacon that the U.S. government, because of Trump’s declaration, “recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and its seat of government.” However, “the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations,” the official said.
The position of Jerusalem in Israel is up for debate because of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and the U.S. government doesn’t want to trample over that, the official said.
“While we are affirming the current and historic reality of Jerusalem’s role as Israel’s capital and seat of government, any ultimate determination of sovereignty over Jerusalem will flow from the results of negotiations between the parties,” he told the Free Beacon.
What is the reaction to the position?
The State Department’s position has already drawn outrage on Capitol Hill, mostly among pro-Israel congressmen.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) told the Free Beacon that the Constitution gives the president the power to make foreign policy, not the State Department. He also slammed the “entrenched bureaucracy.”
“The president is the commander-in-chief and America’s sole organ when it comes to conducting foreign policy. Article II of the Constitution does not vest this authority in bureaucrats in the State Department,” he told the Free Beacon.
“The State Department must permit Americans born in Jerusalem to list ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ on their passports and must follow the logical implications of this historic recognition in other policy areas,” he added. “President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was the right thing to do and enjoys broad support from the American people; an entrenched bureaucracy has no right to stymie this decision.”