Posted on December 4, 2009 In Press Releases

Today, The White House released President Barack Obama’s memorandum invoking national security concerns to waive the mandate of a federal law, for a second time in his presidency, requiring the Executive Branch to relocate the United States’ embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the capital city of Jerusalem.

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the Orthodox Union, expressed its disappointment with President Obama’s action, and OU president Steve Savitsky and public policy director Nathan Diament issued the following statement:

“The Orthodox Union is disappointed with President Obama’s issuance of a national security waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act. Through this statute, Congress correctly recognized that Israel, like any other sovereign state, has the right to designate its capital city and that the U.S. ought to place its embassy in that city. We do not believe that the demands of other states should thwart the right of Israel to determine its capital and have foreign embassies located therein.

President Obama has repeatedly taken the position that the “final status” of Jerusalem is to be negotiated by Israelis and Palestinians and has also noted that Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital. There is no sufficient reason, therefore, that the Administration cannot relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem now and we encourage President Obama to do so.”