Washington, DC: According to a report today from the Associated Press, "President Bush has backed off a campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and will keep it in Tel Aviv, at least for now. The Bush administration said Monday that while the president remains committed to starting a process to move the embassy to Jerusalem, which Israel considers its capital, the mission will stay put. During his campaign, Bush promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem, an act that would lend support to Israeli claims to the city as its undivided capital."
"This latest action is proof of the President's utter hypocrisy," said Ira N. Forman, Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council. "The problem is not this waiver; it's the cynical manipulation of this issue during the campaign, when then-Governor Bush repeatedly promised to immediately move the embassy. [See citations, below.] It's now perfectly clear that President Bush never had any intention of moving the embassy immediately, and his campaign rhetoric has now proven to be a calculated and utterly disingenuous ploy. The Jewish community should reject being played for a sucker."
CANDIDATE GEORGE W. BUSH ON THE JERUSALEM EMBASSY MOVE...
• "A Bush spokesman told JTA that the governor supports moving the embassy and Bush has said in the past that he 'would start the process as soon as I got sworn in'" (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, December 2, 1999).
• "George W. Bush, the front runner in the race for the Republican presidential candidacy, has declared that he will move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem the day he is inaugurated as U.S. president. Bush was speaking at a large gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington" (Ha'aretz, December 3, 1999).
• "But something will happen when I'm president: as soon as I take office I will begin the process of moving the U.S. ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital" (remarks before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, May 22, 2000).
• "Indeed, Texas Gov. George W. Bush looked pleased as he promised participants at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington that he would move the U.S. ambassador in Israel to Jerusalem. The Bush campaign reportedly said the governor meant to say the embassy as well" (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 23, 2000).
• "Something else will happen should I be elected: as soon as I take office I will begin the process of moving the U.S. ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital" (remarks before the B'nai B'rith International Convention 2000, Washington, DC, August 28, 2000).
• "Something else will happen when I take office in January 2001: I will set in motion immediately the process of moving the U.S. ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital, Jerusalem" (response to the American Jewish Committee's Election 2000 Questionnaire, October, 2000).