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Obama extends Jerusalem embassy waiver

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama extended for six months a waiver on a 1990s law that would move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“I hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months” the provisions of the 1995 Act, Obama said Tuesday in a memorandum for the secretary of state.

Every president since the law’s passage has waived its provisions, citing national security, a reference to fears that such a move could hinder Palestinian-Israeli peacemaking and ignite anti-American violence.

Also Tuesday, a group called the Israel Allies Foundation drew lawmakers from around the world to a Jerusalem Day reception on Capitol Hill, where U.S. Congress members spoke in favor of moving the embassy.

A number spoke up for a bill that Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) is ready to submit that would remove the presidential waiver.

“We need to make it the policy, finally, without any caveats, without any waivers,” declared Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.).

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