In an exchange with reporters earlier this week, State Department Victoria Nuland would not say whether the U.S. deems Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital or not. Nuland was asked to be specific on the matter, following the issue of a recent court case regarding listing Israel as the birthplace on the passports of U.S. citizens who were born in Jerusalem.
The Weekly Standard reported on the transcript of the press conference this Wednesday in Washington:
Q: Is it the view of the United States that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, notwithstanding the question about the embassy -- the location of the U.S. embassy?
Nuland: We are not going to prejudge the outcome of those negotiations, including the final status of Jerusalem.
Does that mean that you do not regard Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?
Jerusalem is a permanent-status issue. It’s got to be resolved through negotiations.
That seems to suggest that you do not regard Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Is that correct or not?
I have just spoken to this issue --
-- and I have nothing further to say on it.
You’ve spoken to the issue --
-- but [haven’t answered] the question. And I think there’s a lot of people out there who are interested in hearing a real answer and not saying -- and not trying to duck and say that this has got to be resolved by negotiations between the two sides.
That is our --
What is the capital of Israel?
Our policy with regard to Jerusalem is that it has to be solved through negotiations. That’s all I have to say on this issue.
The story comes just after the Washington Free Beacon noted that the State Department had listed Israel and Jerusalem as separate entities in a press release, which has since been amended.