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Jewish Groups Express Support of Senate Resolution on Jerusalem

Sen. Daniel Moynihan (D-N.Y.) and Jewish organizations urged President Bush on Friday to join the Senate in declaring that Jerusalem is the united capital of Israel.

The Jewish groups expressed their appreciation for the Senate’s unanimous voice vote adoption of Moynihan’s resolution on Jerusalem, which had 83 co-sponsors, 45 Democrats and 38 Republicans.

The resolution, adopted at midnight Thursday, declared that “Jerusalem is and should remain the capital of the State of Israel,” and that it “must remain an undivided city.”

A similar resolution has been introduced in the House by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.). The resolution has some 50 co-sponsors so far, and Engel is still gathering additional names before the resolution will be offered on the House floor, a spokeswoman for the congressman said Friday.

“The swift passage of this resolution demonstrates the broad bipartisan support in the Senate for our ally Israel,” Moynihan said.

“This sends a message of reassurance to Israel — reassurance which is essential to making progress toward peace.”

The resolution also “calls upon all parties involved in the search for peace to maintain their strong efforts to bring about negotiations between Israel and Palestinian representatives.”

The resolution noted that “ambiguous statements” by Bush and other members of his administration “concerning the right of Jews to live in all parts of Jerusalem raise concerns in Israel that Jerusalem might one day be redivided and access to religious sites in Jerusalem denied to Israeli citizens.”

This was a reference to Bush’s March 3 statement opposing “new settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued a statement saying that it “hopes that the Senate action will find expression in U.S. policy and put to rest questions about the right of Jews to live in any part of Jerusalem.

“The fact that the overwhelming majority of Democrats and Republicans rushed to identify with the resolution points out that Jerusalem is above politics, and that all Americans recognize and support the reality of an open, united Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” the Conference said.

Arden Shenker, chairman of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, expressed confidence “that the president, in formulating foreign policy, will be sensitive to what is clearly a national consensus on Jerusalem.”

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, the Zionist Organization of America and NA’AMAT USA also expressed their support of the resolution.

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