A Timeline of OU Advocacy for Jerusalem

Posted on December 6, 2017 In News

1982

The Orthodox Union became the first Jewish Organization to pass a resolution advocating for maintaining Jerusalem as the “eternal and undivided capital of the State of Israel” and relocating the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Since that time, the Orthodox Union’s Biennial Convention Resolutions have stated:

“Jerusalem must forever remain the spiritual, cultural and political center of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. The Orthodox Union is mandated to undertake all efforts necessary to secure and maintain Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of the State of Israel, including pushing for the United States’ Embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

1995

The Orthodox Union advocated for the enactment of the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 1995.

1997
The Orthodox Union mobilized constituents to contact their elected officials, both local and national, and ask them to urge the U.S. Administration to move the United States Embassy in recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

1999
The Orthodox Union urged President Clinton not to sign a waiver of the Jerusalem Embassy Act

2004
The Orthodox Union hosts its first Biennial Convention in Jerusalem

2006
The Orthodox Union hosts Biennial Convention in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert addressed the Convention. OU leaders advocated to the Prime Minister not to entertain any concessions regarding Jerusalem. The Convention adopted a resolution urging opposition to any offer to divide Jerusalem.

2007

  • Ahead of “The Annapolis Conference,” the Orthodox Union joined with numerous Jewish, pro-Israel and other groups to form the Coordinating Council on Jerusalem, whose founding principle and activities were united around the conviction that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish People. The OU and its partners met with President George W. Bush’s National Security Adviser and other senior officials to advocate that the U.S. not support any proposals which would re-divide Jerusalem.In response to a letter from the Orthodox Union sent ahead of the Annapolis peace talks, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promises to keep Jerusalem united. The OU issues a
    statement that Olmert’s statement is unsatisfactory: “We must ask Prime Minister Olmert to be more explicit about his intentions and commitment to keep Jerusalem as the ‛eternal and      indivisible capital of the Jewish People’.”
  • OU Advocacy engages in consistent thought leadership campaign about Jerusalem:
    Op-eds about Jerusalem:
    Nov. 2007: The Baltimore Sun: “Jerusalem’s Jewish roots must be acknowledged
    Dec. 2007: Washington Jewish Week, Baltimore Jewish Times, New Jersey Jewish News:Dividing Jerusalem a betrayal of Jewish history

2008
OU launches a new “Defending Jerusalem Campaign”:

  • Hundreds of people participate in the Orthodox Union’s Convention in Israel – “Keep it One, Keep it Ours” and converge at the site of the proposed U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem to urge President-Elect Barak Obama to relocate the U.S. Embassy it to Jerusalem.
  • OU expresses disappointment over President Bush’s issuing a waiver that the U.S. Embassy will not be relocated to Jerusalem and produces a video showing the importance of keeping Jerusalem united – “Jerusalem, One City

2009
OU launches advocacy campaign for the 2009 introduction of the new Jerusalem Embassy Act, which includes letter to President Barack Obama not to invoke the presidential waiver and declare an undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Through the OU’s advocacy, U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), David Vitter (R-LA), and Jim Bunning (R-KY) introduced the Jerusalem Embassy Act, legislation which would immediately mandate the relocation the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

2010-11
As part of its advocacy campaign, the Orthodox Union publishes multiple articles about keeping Jerusalem undivided, including:

2015
Orthodox Union Commends Introduction of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 2015

2016
Orthodox Union launches online petition calling on President Trump to keep his campaign promise to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

February 2017
OU Advocacy meets with senior Trump administration officials to advocate for a change in policy toward the status of Jerusalem.

December 2017
Ahead of the deadline for President Trump to sign the Jerusalem Embassy Act waiver, the Orthodox Union sends letter to President Trump urging him to fulfill his campaign promise to relocate the U.S. Embassy.

Dec. 6, 2017

On the day President Trump announced he was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, an article in The Forward newspaper referred to the Orthodox Union as part of the “tip of the spear” in advocating consistently for the enactment of the Jerusalem Embassy Act.

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