« Obama to Bibi: 'We stand behind you' (updated) |
Blog Home Page
| The rise of the independents »
June 10, 2009
Is Obama set to abandon US 'undivided Jerusalem' pledge?
This would be the most shocking change in US policy toward an ally in quite a while.
According to a Washington Times editorial, language in a pro forma declaration of intent to move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is missing. The Times combines that with Obama's walkback from his remarks to the AIPAC conference where, after saying he supported an undivided Jerusalem, he insisted that "Jerusalem somehow also could be the capital of a Palestinian state and have divided sovereignty:"
This is a major step backward for Jerusalem and the peace process. In his speech in Cairo last week, Mr. Obama stated that "all of us have a responsibility to work for the day ... when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims." In case the president hasn't noticed, this goal already has been accomplished. Citizens of Jerusalem can worship as they please. Tourists can visit Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious sites. Under Israeli stewardship, the city is a beacon of tolerance and hope.
The situation was much different when East Jerusalem was under Arab control. Last July, Mr. Obama visited Israel and prayed at the Western Wall. Before Israeli control of this area, Jews and others were barred from praying at this most holy site despite a provision in the 1948 cease-fire agreement that all be given access.
The next time Mr. Obama visits the city, he should stop by the site of the Hurva Synagogue, an ancient and revered place of worship in the Jewish Quarter that was destroyed needlessly and maliciously by Arab troops in 1948. Arab Legion commander Abdallah el-Tal later bragged that "only four days after our entry into Jerusalem the Jewish Quarter had become a graveyard." Mr. Obama can then ponder the fact that Israel has sustained and protected the al-Aqsa Mosque, which stands on the Temple Mount. It is difficult to imagine a more dramatic symbol of religious tolerance.
Obama seems to be bending over backward to accomodate the claims and desires of Palestinians while throwing longstanding US policy on settlements and now perhaps the status of Jerusalem under the bus. If he believes that this is the way to peace between Arab and Jew, carving up the holy city of Jerusalem, he will no doubt be terribly disappointed in the end.