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UPDATE: The State Department has altered an official communication to erase the fact that it had referred to Israel and Jerusalem as separate entities.
The release now states: “Acting Under Secretary Kathleen Stephens Travels to Algiers, Doha, Amman, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv.” In a previous iteration of the release, the State Department separated Jerusalem from Israel.
An official State Department communication has labeled Jerusalem and Israel as separate entities.
In an official press release yesterday, the State Department announced that “Acting Under Secretary Kathleen Stephens Travels to Algeria, Qatar, Jordan, Jerusalem, and Israel.”
Keeping up with its longstanding policy, the State Department refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital—despite a U.S. law stating otherwise. Obama faced criticism on the issue last year, when it was revealed that the White House had scrubbed all references to Jerusalem being part of the Jewish state from a collection of photos on its website.
Obama has also been lambasted by pro-Israel leaders and some on Capitol Hill for capitulating to pressure from the State Department, which has long opposed U.S. law on the matter.
A senior GOP aide condemned the State Department’s recent press release as unsound foreign policy.
“Once again, President Obama’s administration reminds Jewish voters why he cannot be trusted when it comes to Israel’s security,” said the source. “He doesn’t think Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Is it its own sovereign nation?”
The GOP source also chided Obama for continuing to buck U.S. law on the issue.
“Under U.S. law, Jerusalem is recognized as the undivided capital of Israel—period,” said the adviser. “Unlike the U.S. embassy’s move, that fact is not subject to any waiver or exception. So the question really is, why is Barack Obama ignoring U.S. law and refusing to recognize Israel’s capital?”
The White House did not respond to request for comment.