Thursday, September 04, 2008

Is Jerusalem The One Issue McCain And Obama Agree On? (Updated)

Shmuel Rosner seems to think so. He laces into Obama for his backtracking on an 'undivided' Jerusalem and faults Giuliani for similar comments last night:
And here’s where I don’t believe Giuliani: I don’t think he can speak for McCain on this issue, and I also do not think that McCain’s position is all that different from Obama’s. Giuliani and McCain aren’t identical twins, and Jerusalem might be one of the cases in which the difference between the more hawkish ex-mayor and the more realist Senator will be of some significance. Jerusalem is one of the most complicated issues in any round of negotiations between Israel and the Arabs–and to assume that McCain has already decided to support an “undivided Jerusalem” in the broader sense (namely, all for Israel, nothing for the Palestinians) has, as far as I can tell, no basis. [emphasis added]
No matter how pro-Israel McCain may be, he can't come out more strongly on Jerusalem that Israel itself is prepared to:
Remember: not even Bush was supportive enough of Israel’s official position to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Also remember that two of the last three Israeli Prime Ministers (Barak and Olmert) were willing to give away parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians. When the time comes to make a decision on Jerusalem, no American President will demand an undivided Jerusalem more strongly than Israel has shown itself inclined to. Not even Bush-and definitely not McCain, who has a realist side to him that takes over from time to time.
I wrote in an earlier post about an article quoting Michael Oren, who sees real differences between McCain and Obama:
"Although Obama has yet to say anything about the Palestinian Authority's failure to meet its Roadmap obligation to curb terror and stop incitement, he has no such reservations when it comes to impugning Israel's settlements, criticizing the Likud party, or allowing for the re-division of Jerusalem. He has backed the call for a contiguous Palestinian state free of Israeli roads and roadblocks. John McCain, by contrast, has not criticized Israel's settlement policies, and has stressed the need for an end to the promotion of terror and demonization aimed at Israel, and ensuring 'that Israel's people can live in safety until there is a Palestinian leadership ready and able to deliver peace'."
The Jerusalem Post continues, listing other differences Dr. Oren sees between the 2 candidates:
Dealing with Hamas? Dr. Oren notes that Obama waited five days before distancing himself from former President Jimmy Carter's Hamas meetings-and only after being pounded politically for not doing so; McCain condemned them instantly.

The candidates also differ on the core issue of whether the Israeli-Palestinian issue is the cause of the rest of the region's woes, or vice-versa. In an interview with The Atlantic, Obama described the conflict as a "constant sore" that "infect(s) all of our foreign policy" and "provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists." That is a formulation that suggests heavy Israeli concessions to achieve "peace" at any cost.

McCain, on the other hand, sees the opposite-that Islamic fanaticism is the obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace: "[I]f the Israeli-Palestinian issue were decided tomorrow, we would still face the enormous threat of radical Islamic extremism." According to Dr. Oren, neither McCain nor any of his advisors have indicated a readiness to apply greater pressure on Israel.
But when all is said and done, would McCain as President actually move the US embassy to Jerusalem?

I don't know, but let's put it another way--did anyone seriously think McCain would pick Sarah Palin as his running mate?

Update: In a copy of this post on Soccer Dad, Elie's Expositions notes:
What's really ironic is that Israel is only looking for embassies to move to pre-1967, Western Jerusalem, which allegedly is not even a disputed area. The very fact that the Palestinians object to such a move should be proof that what they really want is all of Israel, and not just, as they claim, the territories Israel won in 1967. But nobody ever seems to point that out.
Probably so as not to offend Palestinian Arabs with the facts.

According to Wikipedia:
From 1949 until 1967, West Jerusalem served as Israel's capital but was not recognized as such internationally because UN General Assembly Resolution 194 envisaged Jerusalem as an international city.
It's time for the UN and the rest of the world to catch up with the times: Jerusalem will not be an international city.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Israeli and pro-Israel media, including bloggers, keep slamming the only people that stand up against both dividing it and sharing it.