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Helms Urges Reagan to Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital; First Step Would Be to Move U.S. Emba

May 22, 1984
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Sen. Jesse Helms (R. N. C.) has urged President Reagan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and as “a first step in this process” move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Helms made this appeal to Reagan in a letter on May 17 in which he also stated his opposition to legislation pending in Congress which calls for the embassy move on grounds that it constitutes an infringement on the President’s power to condcut foreign policy. He described the legislation which has wide support in the Senate and House, but is opposed by the Administration, as “mischief.”

Helms’ letter to the President was made public yesterday by Rev. Jerry Falwell, leader of the Moral Majority, who delivered the keynote address at the 1984 national convention of Americans for a Safe Israel here. About 300 persons are attending the convention.


Helms wrote, “An undivided Jerusalem must be the ultimate aim of our policy. We should never pursue any plan that envisions a separation of the West Bank from Israel. An undivided Jerusalem is the indispensable basis of a Solomonic solution for the problems which face us in the Middle East. The U.S. as a nation should recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

After explaining his objections to the Congressional moves toward that end, Helms wrote to the President: “I strongly urge you to consider pre-empting the mischief which this legislation might do by acting now to recognize Jerusalem in the context I have described. The moving of the Embassy obviously would be the first step in this process.”

Falwell, expounding on his own views, told the convention, “Not only because I am a faithful Christian, but because I am a faithful and loyal American, I find myself a supporter of Israel.” Concerning the West Bank, he said those areas “should be as non-negotiable as Jerusalem itself,” adding: “I believe the conservative, Bible-reading Christian is Israel’s best friend. Their convictions cross all kinds of political barriers.”

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