Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | March 29, 2012

Bad timing for another “Jerusalem denial” from the State Department

The timing couldn’t be much worse, with the anti-Israel Global March to Jerusalem scheduled for 30 March.

Sandwiched between last month’s International Conference on Jerusalem in Qatar – at which a cast of Islamists, Western sympathizers, and UN officials sought to “combat the Judaization” of Israel’s capital – and the upcoming Global March on Jerusalem, the US State Department has stumbled this week through another episode of “Jerusalem denial.”  The Washington Free Beacon caught the first round on Tuesday, when a State Department media release on a senior official’s travel distinguished between visiting Israel and visiting Jerusalem.  (Adam Kredo at the Free Beacon caught State’s excuse and correction.)

In the Wednesday State Department press briefing, AP journalist Matthew Lee questioned spokeswoman Victoria Nuland intensively as to what the US posture is on Jerusalem as part of Israel (apparently as a follow-up to the criticism on the media release).  The Weekly Standard has a transcript of the segment with Lee questioning Nuland on Jerusalem; the complete transcript for 28 March is here. (See Elder of Ziyon’s summary as well, with commentary on the US policy on Jerusalem.)

It is fair to characterize Nuland’s responses as Daniel Halper has at The Weekly Standard: “There was an amazing exchange today at the State Department press briefing when the press secretary refused to say that Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel.”  Nuland went on to confirm (repeatedly) that the disposition of the entire city of Jerusalem is a final-status issue, to be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs – which is not in itself a change in US policy.  The problem is not that statement.  The problem is everything else.

Earlier Jerusalem denial

This isn’t the first time the Obama administration has been at pains to convey that Jerusalem is most definitely and absolutely not acknowledged as part of Israel by the United States.  Last year, Daniel Halper highlighted an earlier instance in which a White House photo was originally labeled “Jerusalem, Israel,” but the caption was then changed to remove the name “Israel” from it.  A series of media volleys ensued, in which Obama defenders insisted that the Bush administration hadn’t referred to Jerusalem as “Jerusalem, Israel” either.

Commentary blogger Omri Ceren discovered, however, that the Bush administration had, in fact, sometimes referred to “Jerusalem, Israel,” although it didn’t always.  As with any other major, well-known city, the Bush White House sometimes used only the city name (e.g., Paris, Tel Aviv, Moscow, Jerusalem) in a caption or other reference, and sometimes added the country name.

But Ceren found something else – something (to use Daniel Halper’s word) quite remarkable.  The Obama administration literally went through old State Department documents from the Bush administration and revised every reference to “Jerusalem, Israel” so that it would read only “Jerusalem.”  There were files online that the Obama administration had no editorial access to, and those could not be changed.  But the administration did go through and change what it could.

This pattern can only come across as an obsessive determination to emphasize the not-acknowledgment of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or even as part of Israel.  Ben Smith at Politico, meanwhile, turned up documents from previous administrations in which references were made to “Jerusalem, Israel,” and concluded that there has not historically been a US prohibition on making such references.  The Obama approach is unique.

US policy, actual

The US policy on Jerusalem since the 1970s has, indeed, been that the city’s comprehensive disposition is a matter to be worked out between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.  US policy has changed over time, due principally to the 1967 War, in which Israel, under concerted Arab attack, ejected the Jordanian occupation force from Jerusalem and assumed control of the city.  Victoria Nuland was referring to the baseline US policy stance since the aftermath of the 1973 War and the Israel-Egypt peace accord – and the reference, giving her wording, is accurate.  She was clearly not referring to the very early US position on Jerusalem as an international city under UN auspices.  (This summary of historical US policy on Jerusalem points out that US officials reinforced our modern baseline position – that Jerusalem was to be negotiated between the parties, and was not a UN issue – after the Oslo accords in 1993.)

Washington’s position for at least the last 35 years was well expressed in a statement by Ronald Reagan in 1982:  “We remain convinced that Jerusalem must remain undivided, but its final statusshould be decided through negotiations.”  The point here is not that negotiated concessions on the boundaries of Jerusalem and Israel’s civil control over it have been unthinkable.  The point is that the Obama administration’s posture in conveying the US position is qualitatively different from its predecessors’.

(We must note, of course, that the US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, ordering that Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of Israel and the US embassy be moved there from Tel Aviv.  The official US policy on Jerusalem, which has wandered through different stages since 1948, is a separate issue from the majority sentiments of the American people, which have routinely affirmed support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  The presidents since 1995 have declined to adhere to the Jerusalem Embassy Act’s provisions, deeming the Act an encroachment on the constitutional privileges of the executive.)

It is deceptive to suggest that US policy has ever had the character of disavowing reality on the ground in Jerusalem, or appearing to invalidate history since 1967 – which is what the obsessive dissociation of Jerusalem from Israel amounts to.  The US has instead been pragmatic (if not always enthusiastic or good-humored) about it, tacitly acknowledging Israel’s de facto control, and not taking extraordinary measures to affirm US “non-recognition” of the current situation.

US presidents, even those not especially friendly to Israel, have understood that to do so would not only anger American voters but would also be destabilizing.  Insisting on US dissatisfaction with a situation can be read by interested parties as an invitation to actively assail the status quo.  We have preferred to resolve the situation peacefully, by starting from where everyone actually is.  The US position of impartiality – that is, of acknowledging that there is still negotiating to be done and that both sides must be satisfied – has not until the Obama administration taken the form of specifically scrubbing allusions to Israel’s obvious, historical, and very real connection to Jerusalem.

Altering the character of our “impartial” position matters, particularly in the context of the administration’s much criticized and often unjustifiable handling of Israel and Middle East security issues.  As is common with the Obama administration, a shift in posture is conveyed through wording decisions so picayune as to seem ridiculous – yet they signal a real change in approach.  It is one thing for the US to be tacitly satisfied with Israel’s control of Jerusalem while being prepared to endorse a different arrangement that the parties may agree to, in negotiations that we encourage.  A concern for orderliness and the satisfaction of both sides dictates a posture like this.

It is another, very different thing for the US to insist obsessively that no official US communications can appear to endorse Jerusalem as even an Israeli city, much less as the capital.  The evidence indicates that this Obama posture is a deviation from his predecessors’ stances, not a continuation.  It is also, in the unyielding context of reality, a clear attempt to affirm a desired or at least theoretical condition, rather than the actual one.

The Global March to Jerusalem

The timing, again, is bad.  The Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) is scheduled for Friday, 30 March.  CiF Watch has a website dedicated to exposing the organizers and intentions of the Global March to Jerusalem, and their excellent factsheet names the members of the terrorist group Hamas who are organizing it.  (Advisory board members include the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the multitalented George Galloway – ex-Labour MP from Glasgow – and Dr. Mahathir Mohammed, former prime minister of Malaysia and perennial supporter of anti-Israel flotillas.)  You can follow the CiF Watch “gmj2” site on Twitter.

The North American chapter of the Global March has its own website.  (You can check out the luminaries involved there, including – besides Jeremiah Wright – Cornell West, Noam Chomsky, and Medea Benjamin of Code Pink.)  As CiF Watch points out, the North American website’s FAQ section explains why there is a separate organization (my emphasis):

Q: Why is there a separate GMJ-NA organization?

A: Because of the laws governing citizens of the U.S. and Canada, legal advisers in these countries have determined that it is better for them to operate separately and not to participate in the decision-making of the international movement, but rather as an autonomous coalition. This is because some of the groups in the international coalition are subject to legal reprisals in these countries, and there is some risk that any joint decision-making might place citizens of those countries in legal jeopardy. The risk may be small, but this is an extra measure of safety for those concerned.

In other words, the organizers of GMJ are terrorists, and knowingly colluding with them is a criminal act.

CiF Watch also quotes from an email exchange between the organizers, clarifying the intentions of the GMJ (errors in original):

[I]magine a situation where we have more than a million people streaming in from four borders & israel fails to stop the human tide. Once we have broken this mental barrier, then its all over. next time we will have 5 million who will be marching in & it will ony grow from there. This is exactly the nightmare situation for Israel. How do you handle a million ordinary non-violent people who want to go back Home? – how do you handle a million non-violent people who just wish to pray in their Masjid in Jerusalem, which is under our Occupation? Thius will undermine the Israeli state, like no other strategy & then it will all begin to unravel & the Zionist edifice which is unraveeling as we speak, will soon fall. It’s a matter of time now, as we well know.

It is not possible to honestly claim that this effort has any goal short of terminating the nation of Israel.  The principal action on Saturday is to be the attempted swarm across Israel’s borders, along with solidarity marches in Gaza and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).  Notably, it was announced earlier this week that members of the infamous 2010 flotilla were joining the GMJ and heading for Lebanon from Turkey.  Thus, it is likely that, in addition to Hamas, armed thugs from the Turkish terror organization IHH are participating in the Saturday event.

Reportedly, the governments of Lebanon and Jordan are “sponsoring” marches on their territory – which, in the case of Jordan, at least, may be a good sign.  Although the Jordanian organizers have announced a rally site supposedly coinciding with the site of Jesus’ baptism nearly 2000 years ago – a false and repellent association of the GMJ cause with Christianity – the Jordanian government will almost certainly keep demonstrators in check and prevent them from attempting to cross the border.

Egypt is unlikely to allow demonstrators to mass at the border either, in large part because doing so would mean allowing them to congregate in the Sinai Peninsula, where security has become a big headache.  Lebanon may be a different story, however; in 2011, Hezbollah, which is in firm control of southern Lebanon, allowed people to rush the Israeli border during demonstrations in May (the Lebanese Armed Forces did ultimately move in to control the situation).  I doubt Lebanon will permit an actual border breach; even Hezbollah will prefer not to draw an Israeli response.  But with Israel being pressed elsewhere, Lebanon may push to see how far she can go.

Then there is Syria.  Reporting from the last several days has suggested that activists have been flown into Damascus to participate in the GMJ.  A Xinhua report puts the flow of marchers in the thousands, with Jordanian media appearing to confirm the arrival of activist-carrying flights in Syria.   The Jordanian report is one of many that tie the activists staging in Syria to Iran.  Jonathan Spyer, writing for PJ Media, considers the Iranian connection significant, but he is less concerned about the prospect for major security problems at Israel’s border with Syria.

I tend to agree with him that Syria is unlikely to allow a major cross-border influx, or to mount an attack herself.  Obviously, the Assad regime is pretty preoccupied, and has no interest in drawing Israeli intervention.  I don’t discount the possibility that Assad will attempt an attention-getting action of some kind, however.  Reporting from last year’s Nakba demonstrations in May indicated that the Syrian regime itself bused demonstrators to the border.

It is always important to remember about these events that the respective governments are the entities exerting control.  I don’t believe any of Israel’s neighbors feels the time is right to allow destabilizing attacks on Israel to begin – even if the attacks are undertaken by swarms of protesters on foot, who carry no military weapons.  (Many of them may well be armed in other ways.)  And the organizers themselves will consider their event a success if they can manufacture damning allegations against Israel, and negative photo ops, out of its various manifestations.

But the fact that the campaign against Israel is one of impressions, emotions, and “moral” suasion – honest or otherwise – is one of the chief reasons why the attitude of the United States matters.  We can maintain the position that there are still points to be negotiated on the status of Jerusalem, but that need not entail going well out of our way to avoid associating Jerusalem with Israel.  Doing so is pointed and tendentious, rather than honest or even-handed. (It’s also a pointed repudiation of an ally’s position – the Knesset declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel in January 1950 – which alone should give any administration pause.)  Excising the public record, moreover, has about it the whiff of totalitarian state revisionism.

The February conference on Jerusalem in Qatar punctuated a series of signals over the past decade that Islamist groups are coalescing around a concerted effort to obtain control of Jerusalem and prevent what they call its “Judaization.”  (Jerusalem is, of course, already Jewish, was established as a Jewish capital, has always had a Jewish population, and has had a majority Jewish population in the modern era since at least the 1850s.)  As I have written before, I don’t project that these groups will unite any time soon.  Leadership in gaining control of Jerusalem is, rather, a key focus of the competition between them.  But what they will all do is seek to maximize pressure on Israel, campaigning to discourage, undermine, and delegitimize the Jewish state – and capture it on camera defending itself.

The danger and destabilizing potential of this campaign will only escalate.  Under these circumstances, the Obama administration’s emphasis – which conveys less the importance of negotiation than the message that Jerusalem is up for grabs – is not a damper; it’s a catalyst.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air’s Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, and The Weekly Standard online.


Responses

  1. Pace Richard Nixon: Two states, one Palestine.😉

  2. there’s never a good time for you, if you were to speak honestly.

    the official policy of the USA is that Jerusalem’s status is to be negotiated and is not legally part of Israel.

    and “Jerusalem denial” is a funny phrase as I hope that you intended it as such.

    if meant seriously, it’s about as rank as Nabka denial,

  3. The Jewish claim to Israel and Jerusalem;

    The Jewish people have continuously lived in the region for over 3000 years.

    The Jews did not leave Israel voluntarily, even when forced out by the Romans, Jewish residents remained.

    Jerusalem has had a majority Jewish population since at least the 1850s.

    In 1923, Britain obtained a mandate from the League of Nations to exercise its right under the treaty signed by the Ottoman Empire ( the ruling authority for the region for centuries) to create a national homeland for the Jews.

    In the 1948 war for Israel’s independence, the Palestinian Arabs who fled did so at the urging of the attacking Arab nations, so that they might easily identify the Jews and avoid Arab casualties. The Arabs decisively lost the war. Islam strongly supports the ancient ‘right’ that, in war, “to the victor go the spoils”, at least they do when they win…

    Israel was recognized as a member of the United Nations on 11 May 1949.

    Every major Muslim nation in the region; Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia had been a member state of the UN since 1945. As member states, it was incumbent upon them to, if not approve, at least accept, however reluctantly, the UN’s decision to recognize Israel.

    The Knesset declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel in January 1950.

    Nothing in that declaration prohibited Muslim residency in Jerusalem.

    In the 1967 War, which the Muslims started, Israel under concerted Arab attack, ejected the Jordanian occupation force from Jerusalem and assumed control of the city.

    Jerusalem ceased to be an international city under UN auspices after the 1967 war.

    In 1995, the US Congress, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the US embassy was moved there from Tel Aviv, where it still remains.

    The Muslim claim;

    Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Qur’an.

    Muhammad never even visited Jerusalem.

    Muslims claimed Jerusalem for themselves – after marching an army into the city two years after Muhammad’s death. So they honor the ancient right of conquest. At least for themselves, as hypocritically Muslims believe that any territory once declared as part of the Dar al-Islam, must remain so forever. So the right of conquest only applies to them, a case of tails you lose, heads we win.

    Muslims refuse to accept sharing the city, as the only theologically valid configuration acceptable to Islam is that the entire state of Israel cease to exist, which is the real motivation of the Muslims.

    Any fair minded observer must admit that its not the Jews who are unwilling “to live and let live” but rather the Muslims.

    By any measure, the Israeli claim to Jerusalem is much the stronger and since the Muslim will not peaceably accept Jewish majority rule of the city, just by the right of conquest that Islam claims for itself, Israel has every right to declare Jerusalem as its capital.

    • Geoffrey, most of the world understands the Jewish claim to Israel, but also understands that the legal claim is not the moral one.

      the world through the UN fostered the establishment of Israel and nations of the world extended recognition of the existence of Israel on the basis of the UN plan…it did not and does not include sovereignty over Jerusalem and the surrounding area.

      Even the opticon’s beloved Ronnie Reagan, a pretty strong supporter of Israel, held to the position that Jerusalem was not legally Israel’s and the status of the city would have to be decided through negotiation.

      http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0017_0_16521.html

      • I was not speaking solely of Israel’s legal claim to Jerusalem. In fact I believe that the facts support the Jewish moral claim to Jerusalem even more than their legal claim.

        But Islam doesn’t recognize any non-Muslim’s moral claim to anything. Islam teaches that it’s perfectly acceptable to force you with the perfectly sincere threat of death to either convert or accept a second class status in which you effectively have no rights. ‘Rights’ being only for Muslims. As, until you accept Islam, you are cursed by Allah. Their ‘God’ doesn’t believe in free will or anyone’s right to self-determination. Their ‘God’ accepts slavery and states as fact that women have innately less worth than men.

        Such an ideology abandons any moral claim to Jerusalem by its behavior, while the facts cited in the comment above expose the absolute shallowness of Islam’s claim, both moral and legal, to Jerusalem.

        And, since it’s Islam that provides the motivation for Muslim’s refusal to even attempt live in peace with the Jews and because Islam is theological incapable of reform or change, Muslims have forfeited any claim, moral or otherwise, to Jerusalem.

        • Geoffrey, U tend to agree that the Jews have more the moral claim to Jerusalem and that those upstart Christians and Muslims have to get in line.

          but the morality of it ain’t the entirety or even the greater part.

          (and get over the nonsense about Islam, Do you blame Stalin’s crimes on Marx ?)

          • First you say, “most of the world understands the Jewish claim to Israel, but also understands that the legal claim is not the moral one.” then you say, “the morality of it ain’t the entirety or even the greater part.” those are inherently contradictory positions. You appear to either be engaged in arguing for it’s own sake or unable to keep track of your former argument.

            The Jews have never expressed any animosity to Christian pilgrimage or residency in Israel. The Christians do not claim Jerusalem as theirs so there is no line for them. The Muslims both by their actions and unwillingness to seek peace have lost any moral high ground they might once have had and by their own lights, they’ve lost Palestine (Israel) and Jerusalem by right of conquest, so they lose on both legal and moral grounds.

            Had Marx, in his writings, directed Stalin to behave the way he did, Marx would be culpable in the millions who Stalin killed.

            Islam most emphatically does direct all Muslims to engage in the ‘nonsense’ that you refuse to acknowledge. Islam’s theological tenets permit NO reform whatsoever, (this is easily verified) which is why in over 1400 years, Islam has never had reform. And those theological tenets are why moderates are silent, as they know that it is the ‘radicals’ who are on the theological high ground.

            Just because some Muslims are lapsed and practice in their personal lives a more moderate Islam, changes the nature of Islam itself, not a whit.

            Just because some Germans didn’t hate Jews, in no way changed the nature of Nazism itself.

            Mohammad wrote his “Mein Kampf” and no amount of western ignorance or intentional obtuseness regarding Islam’s fundamental tenets and strictures will dissuade Islamist’s faithful to their ideology from the violent and covert jihad upon unbelievers to which Islam enjoins the Muslim.

            Nor do Islamist’s, in their view, have much of a choice in their aggression against the west, as Islam cannot survive through another century of cultural exposure to western culture. Pious fundamentalist Islamist’s sense that if Islam is to survive, now while they have the money and before modern western culture attracts away too many of the younger generation from Islam, is the time to act against the west. They also sense that the West’s decadence and moral fiber are at a low point and thus at its most vulnerable.

            So, mikefoxtrot, you can give the above argument fair consideration and examination or reveal yourself to be one of those upon whom Churchill commented; “Most people, sometime in their lives, stumble across the truth. And most jump up, brush themselves off, and hurry on about their business as if nothing had happened.”

            • I don’t see where I’m contradicting myself by holding that the people understand the moral claim and holding that the moral claim is of less import than the legal one…..

              • But your first response was to strongly imply that the moral claim was of more import than the legal one. Now you’re claiming just the opposite.

                You responded to my first comment by stating that, “also understands that the legal claim is not the moral one” then when I respond by focusing on the moral case, you respond with, “the morality of it ain’t the entirety or even the greater part.”” all you have to do is reread relevant portions of the thread, if you can’t see that’s contradictory, then you are simply being intentionally obtuse.

              • my first response was to SAY that I found the moral claim strong, Geoffrey, as indeed I do.

                BUT I found it comparable to my thinking that there a strong case to be made for saying that Zimmerman is to blame for the killing of Trayvon Martin….while the legal case for convicting Zimmerman of murder is quite insufficient.

                Geoffrey….. the legal case is simply different and primary.

  4. Ms. Nuland (Newland?) needs to get on the same sheet of music as her boss. Here is Barack Obama declaring in very clear and absolute terms that Jerusalem must remain the capital of Israel and must be undivided.

    Unless, of course, it’s all a sham and you can’t believe the President when he speaks.

    • Hilarious. The American people certainly have one fine Lieder.

    • Well, that was then and this is now and since when should facts confuse the issue?😉

      Hypocrisy, contradictory statements, lying on a consistent basis, racial demagoguery and class division, corruption on a massive scale, betrayal of his oath of office, the list of his sins goes on and on, demonstrating just how unworthy this man is to be President.

      And, more than any other factor, the MSM is responsible for the deceptions that led to his election.

      • the Dems could have nominated a ham sandwich, geoffrey, the electorate was sick to death of the Repubs and the crash of the economy made it impossible for any Repub candidate

        • Rhetorical question; How are either of your assertions relevant to how Obama has conducted himself since he was elected?

          The crash of the economy did make it improbable for any Repub candidate to win. But Obama’s 52.9% was by no means a landslide, so despite all the rhetoric and distorted reportage from the MSM, Obama had a relatively mediocre showing.

          How he’s conducted himself as President is a national disgrace, the man’s an embarrassment to the world.

          And, the ONLY reasons why it’s not blindingly obvious to much of the electorate at large is due to the ongoing cover-up by the media and, that once perceptions are formed, (strongly influenced by that media) most people strongly discount and even ignore information that contradicts their world view…

          • Obama’s administration is far preferable and honorable than was the previous one, Geoffrey.

            THAT one disgraced America and damaged it severely.

  5. Neither the US or the UN will determine the final status of Jerusalem. It will be determined through negotiations between Jews and Arabs alright, “after”, the conclusion of an strategically decisive confrontation between them. Let’s not kid ourselves, there can be no peaceful solution to this and this is far from over.
    On a personal note, it’s preferable to have Jerusalem in the hands of a surrogate Crusader state, Israel, than in the hands of the Caliphate (in any form) which already determines our economy through energy supplies and wishes to eventually convert subjugate, or kill me.

  6. For the umpteenth time, the status of Jerusalem or even Israel itself is of real consequence only in the context of maintaining the political status quo in the rest of the despotic Middle East. As long as the latter-day sheiks and emirs can present the great injustice of the Zionist entity as the root of all problems for the Arab/Muslim world and get the media to carry water for them, the issue will occupy its bizarre place near the top of the world’s concerns. Any American with a concern for the Palestinian cause should immediately sign the deed to their own property over to whatever surviving Pawnees or Seminoles or Blackfoots that live nearby. The Swedes can do the same with the Lapps. There may be a handful of Celts in Westminster that are the rightful heirs to the property confiscated by the armies of Caesar. Even a superficial examination of the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation reveals the biggest flaw in “progressive”, leftist thinking, that is that we live in a static, unchanging world rather than an evolving dynamic one. Just as you might lose your job, your investments, your health, you might also lose your government.

    • Ah, but the Sioux killed and drove off other tribes living in their ‘sacred’ black hills 150 yrs before the appearance of the white man and the Seminole did the same. And the Mexican’s stole California from the native American tribes, before the whites stole it from the Mexicans…;-)

  7. Nothing has changed under this administration. The position is still the same as it was under GWB and Clinton. Part of Jerusalem is in Israel. Another part of the city is under Israeli Occupation. The Israelis themselves, with the purpose of forstalling their legal obligation to return the entirety of East Jerusalem to the Arabs (including the parts they have stolen and settled with robbers), invented the “subject to determination of final status” formula. Sadly, we bought into this ruse. However, having accepted it, we have stuck with it, and to the logical consequences that pending the outcome of final negotiations Jerusalem cannot be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel (Or of Palestine, for that matter). Inevitably, having appeased Israel once, we are now reaping the fruits of all appeasers as the Israelis and their far-right US allies press to have Jerusalem recognized as the capital of Israel. Fortunately, even under the GWB administration – replete with Israel-firsters – we have had the guts to stick the Israelis with the consequences of what they asked for. Obama has stuck to his guns as did both Bushes and Big Bad Bill. This really sticks in the craw of the Israeli right and its US servants who expected us to appease them yet again in their ongoing efforts to dispossess and de-legitimize Arab East Jerusalem and its non-Jewish population.
    And no one should be in doubt that fear of AIPAC rather than love of Israel is the motivating factor of most of our legislators when it comes to taking public positions (as distinct from their private opinions) on matters in which AIPAC has an interest.

    • Get your history straight.

      The OSLO accords introduced the concept of Jerusalem being “subject to determination of final status” and the inclusion of Jerusalem in the list of final status issues marked a great departure from traditional Israeli policy, where Jerusalem previously was considered a red-line issue for Arab-Israeli negotiations. Indeed, its inclusion was presented as a coup by the Palestinians. As Faisal Husseini declared: “in the Oslo Accords it was established that the status of Jerusalem is open to negotiations on the final arrangement, and the moment you say yes to negotiations, you are ready for a compromise.”

      What ” legal obligation to return the entirety of East Jerusalem to the Arabs”? Public opinion is not legal obligation. The Arabs have lost 5 wars with Israel and Muslims everywhere honor the right of conquest, which Israel applied in 1967 in declaring Jerusalem its capital.

      We may be “stuck with it” but Israel can drop it anytime it decides too, especially as in 1947 the representatives of the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab states rejected UN Resolution 181, which called for the partition of Palestine into an Arab and Jewish state, with Jerusalem being established as a corpus separatum, or a “separated body” with a special legal and political status, administered by the United Nations and separate from both states named in the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. Jewish representatives accepted the plan on the assumption that the Arabs would do likewise. However, the representatives of the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab states rejected the plan as well as the resolution and, as they have repeatedly violated the OSLO accords they have rendered them null and void as well.

      Palestinians have no legal basis for demanding anything, they’ve maneuvered themselves into an untenable position and whatever they get will be at Israel’s determination.

      Since the Palestinians have never negotiated through a desire for peace, are entirely insincere and the differences are clearly irreconcilable, Israel is taking the pragmatic approach of gradual expulsion. Faced with a genocidal enemy, Israel has little choice.

      The American public strongly supports Israel’s existence and AIPAC has little to do with that, it is because Israel is a democracy and is perceived as wanting peace wherein that support arises.

      Of the 535 voting Members of Congress, 154 refused to sign a Congressional letter in 2010 backing Israel’s blockade of Gaza. So much for AIPAC’s vaunted influence.

      Congressmen fear loss of public support (votes) far more than lobbying groups.

      • Amen.

  8. Thankfully, all US administrations to date disagree with you and Dyer on this one. One hopes our government will stand firm and stiffen itself against any further appeasement of those who wish to continue the robbery of non-Jewish property in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel/Palestine. We are a property-owing democracy and to do otherwise would be a betrayal of our core values.

    • Political realities frequently force administrations to take positions antithetical to the truth of the matter. Leading the noted American poet James Russell Lowell to observe, “Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne.”

      When prior administrations adopted their positions, the hope still existed that eventually a means to peace could be found but by now it’s more than clear that the only ‘peace’ Palestinians ever meant to accept is the destruction of Israel.

      What you label appeasement, the facts of the matter label thoughtful consideration. The “robbery of non-jewish property” is as of nothing compared to the property and lives stolen from the Jews throughout the M.E. by those Arabs you champion. When an enemy won’t make ‘peace’ under any condition short of genocide, gradual expulsion is the only option short of immediate annexation with the only choice expulsion or death.

      You bewail Israel’s truly meager efforts at self-defense (never having used the ‘scorched earth’ of Gen. Sherman) and excuse the unrelenting aggression of the Palestinians as reactionary, while ignoring the plenitude of occasions when the Palestinian’s own words state that this is about far more than mere “robbery of non-jewish property” it is about the Islamic ‘principle’ that territory once part of the Ummah is forever so, that after Palestine is returned to the Ummah, Europe shall be next (demographic toast)…with the whole world the end goal.

      “… those who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. All the countries conquered by Islam or to be conquered in the future will be marked for everlasting salvation. For they shall live under Allah’s law.” -Ayatollah Khomeini

      “Islam is a revolutionary ideology and program which seeks to alter the social order of the whole world and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets and ideals. Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the Earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam, regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it.” —Sayyed Abul Ala Maududi, founder of Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami, April, 1939

      And, the recent poll which showed that 84% of Egyptians support the death penalty for apostasy, (no freedom of conscience or religion there!) emphatically demonstrates that it’s not just a few fanatics who embrace radical violence. It’s the entire culture, it’s the basic irredeemable tenets of Islam itself.

      There are and have been all along, any number of negotiated arrangements that Israel would find acceptable which did and would offer the Palestinians a more than reasonable agreement. But there has always been only one negotiated settlement that the Palestinians find acceptable; the destruction of Israel. That’s the heart of the matter and that simple truth exposes upon which side evil rests.

  9. […] Harper meets Israeli Prime Minister NetanyahuBad timing for another “Jerusalem denial” from the State Department […]


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