Alabama Recognizes Jerusalem as the Eternal Undivided Capital of Israel
and Affirms U.S. Embassy Move in Historic Resolution
April 23, 2019 (Montgomery, AL) – Carrying on a very special legacy, the state of Alabama led the nation with a deeply meaningful gesture as the anniversary of Israel’s Independence approaches. Alabama recognized Jerusalem as the “eternal undivided” capital of Israel and affirmed the U.S. Embassy move in a historic joint resolution (Act 66, SJR 27, 2019 Regular Session). It originated from the same legislative body that - over 75 years ago, in the midst of World War II – formally called for the recognition of the Jewish state and homeland through a unanimous joint resolution five years before Israel was reborn as a nation (Act 144, SJR 4, 1943 Regular Session).
Among other, the resolution highlights Jerusalem has never been the capital of any other sovereign nation, Israel’s right under international law and custom to designate its own capital, Jerusalem’s imposed division and later reunification that made whole again the nation’s historic capital, and the overwhelming bipartisan support of the Jerusalem Embassy Act that has been encoded in U.S. law for over two decades that included Jerusalem’s recognition as capital and required the embassy move.
It is significant that while Israel recognizes Jerusalem as its eternal undivided capital, and many of Israel’s closest friends and allies refer to Jerusalem often in the same way, this is the first formal recognition that does so. All three words are disputed. All three words are included with specific purpose and intent. So it is notable that the Alabama recognition bears witness in such an unequivocal, unwavering, and undeniable way when so many disparage, dispute, malign, and demonize our closest ally in the Middle East.
For many the timing is also especially meaningful as the resolution (SJR27) passed the Alabama Legislature just days before the biblical Passover began, one of the holiest seasons of the year for both Jews and Christians in Alabama, Israel, and around the world. The Alabama Governor signed it several days later on the morning of Tuesday April 23rd, during the very week of Passover, and just two weeks before the anniversary of Israel's Independence (Yom Haatzmaut) also the anniversary of the U.S. Embassy opening in Jerusalem.
Press Release (PDF) - Reference SJR27 Text (IMG)(PDF)(HTML)
Alabama Joint Resolution
(Act 66, SJR 27, 2019 Regular Session)
RECOGNIZING JERUSALEM AS THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL AND AFFIRMING THE U.S. EMBASSY MOVE
WHEREAS, in 1943, in the midst of World War II, when the Axis powers were not only waging world war against America and Europe, but also seeking the systematic extermination of the Jewish people, Alabama led the nation with an official call for the establishment of the Jewish state and homeland through a unanimous joint resolution (Act 144, SJR 4, 1943 Regular Session) five years before Israel was reborn as a nation; and
WHEREAS, in the 75 years since that resolution, Alabama has a long history of strong and steadfast support for the State of Israel; and
WHEREAS, Alabama and Israel share a commitment to deeply held common values from the history of each, shaped greatly through the influence of Biblical faith, in addition to many nationally shared values as the only democratic ally of the United States in the Middle East; and
WHEREAS, each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital; and
WHEREAS, Jerusalem has been the center of national and spiritual life for the Jewish people since its early days as a nation in biblical times; and
WHEREAS, throughout history, and the millennia of its existence, Jerusalem has never been the capital of any other sovereign nation; and
WHEREAS, with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jerusalem became once again the capital of the world's only sovereign Jewish state; and
WHEREAS, for 19 years Jerusalem was divided after East Jerusalem - including the Old City - was taken in war, annexed by Jordan, and ruled from its capital, Amman; and
WHEREAS, Jerusalem was reunited following the 1967 Six-Day War, the barriers dividing the city were demolished, the gates of the Old City were opened to people of all faiths, and East Jerusalem was reunified with West Jerusalem, making whole again the nation's historic capital; and
WHEREAS, Israel continues to recognize Jerusalem as its eternal undivided capital; and
WHEREAS, in 1995, the U.S. Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act with overwhelming bipartisan support, including a 93-5 margin in the Senate and a 374-37 margin in the House that same day, thereby encoding in U.S. law the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and requiring the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem by 1999; and
WHEREAS, succeeding Presidents of both political parties deferred moving the U.S. Embassy, signing temporary waivers every six months, delaying the embassy move for over two decades; and
WHEREAS, in 2017, the U.S. Senate (90-0) specifically reaffirmed the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act as part of a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem; and
WHEREAS, it was announced on December 6, 2017, that the United States would no longer extend the 22-year delay, would allow the 1995 law to be implemented, would officially recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, and would relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem as required by U.S. law; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Embassy was officially opened in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence; now therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA, BOTH HOUSES THEREOF CONCURRING, That we do unequivocally recognize Jerusalem as the eternal undivided capital of Israel, and do fully affirm and celebrate the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That it is directed that copy of this resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, to the Alabama Delegation to the United States Congress, to the Governors of all the United States of America, and to the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., for transmission to all the proper authorities in the State of Israel.