A call on Barack Obama to move the United State embassy to Jerusalem will be a centerpiece of the Orthodox Union’s biennial convention.
The umbrella group for North American Orthodox congregations held its last two biennial conventions in Jerusalem, but had planned to hold this year’s event in New York. Plans were changed to again go to Jerusalem “as a show of support for Israel at its 60th anniversary and as a reflection of the Orthodox Union’s concern that Jerusalem will be divided in peace negotiations with the Palestinians,” a statement said.
On Thursday, participants will meet at a West Jerusalem site held by the United States should it ever decide to move its embassy from Tel Aviv and view an enlarged version of a petition signed by O.U. congregations calling on Israel “to oppose and reject any proposal or plan to relinquish any part of Yerushalayim to any foreign authority.”
Speakers will include Stephen Savitsky, the O.U. president, and Daniel Kurtzer, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel who is Orthodox and advised President-elect Obama’s campaign. An O.U. release emphasized that the event and the call are “non-confrontational.”
“The OU hopes to return to this site for the opening of the Embassy, perhaps together with President Obama, during his first term in office,” the release stated.