Removal of the Israeli Foreign Office From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem: Statement by the Secretary of State, July 28, 1953 (1)

The United States regrets that the Israeli Government has seen fit to move its Foreign Office from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

We have made known our feelings on that subject to the Government of Israel on two prior occasions. It was done in July 1952 (2) and again in March 1953, when our Ambassador, hearing rumors that this was in contemplation, called upon the Israeli Government and requested them not to transfer their Foreign Ministry to Jerusalem.

We feel that way because we believe that it would embarrass the United Nations, which has a primary responsibility for determining the future status of Jerusalem. You may recall that the presently standing U.N. resolution about Jerusalem (3) contemplates that it should be to a large extent at least an international city rather than a purely national city. Also, we feel that this particular action by the Government of Israel at this particular time is inopportune in relation to the tensions which exist in the Near East, tensions which are rather extreme, and that this will add to rather than relax any of these tensions.

The views that I express here are, we know, shared by a considerable number of other governments who have concern with the development of an atmosphere of peace and good will in that part of the world.

We have notified the Government of Israel that we do not intend to move our own Embassy to Jerusalem.(4)

(1) Department of State Bulletin, Aug. 10, 1953, pp. 177-178. Back

(2) For the text of the aide-memoire delivered by the Embassy at Tel Aviv to the Israeli Government on July 9, 1952, see ibid., Aug. 4, 1952, pp. 181-182. Back

(3) i.e., General Assembly Res. 303 (IV), Dec. 9, 1949; A Decade of American Foreign Policy, pp. 859-860. Back

(4) See Department of State Bulletin, July 20, 1953, p. 82. Back

American Foreign Policy 1950-1955
Basic Documents Volumes I and II
Department of State Publication 6446
General Foreign Policy Series 117
Washington, DC : U.S. Governemnt Printing Office, 1957

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