Jewish Dems stewing over Jerusalem issue


A number of Jewish Dems in Congress  are steamed at the omission of the traditional Jerusalem-as-Israel’s-capital plank from this year’s Democratic platform. (Some non-Jewish Dems are also displeased.)

The New York Jewish Week spoke with some of the miffed members, including Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), who called it a "grievous mistake."

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, meanwhile, is so exercised about the matter that he has been lecturing well-wishers about the issue from his hospital bed.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement Tuesday night on U.S. Jerusalem policy:


It should be clear to everyone that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, always and forever. Israel is our strongest ally in the region and we must always stand shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish state. It is a relationship that must be fully embraced, especially during times of regional instability. Anything less, I will not accept.

Berman, who is locked in a tough reelection battle with fellow Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman, has been criticized by his opponent for his unwillingess to co-sponsor new legislation mandating that the U.S. to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Berman voted in favor of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act but did not co-sponsor it. Since that legislation was passed, presidents of both parties have repeatedly exercised national security waivers in that law to avoid having to relocate the embassy.

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