Monday, July 30, 2012

Why Does Obama Administration Exaggerate The Issue Of Jerusalem?

We are all familiar with the issue the predates the Obama administration about where the US embassy should be located: Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.

But that does not explain the embarrassing inability of the Obama administration to address head-on the issue of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

As Elliott Abrams points out, there is no reason--historically or politically--for Obama not to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

We recently saw the Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary, insult the person who asks the simple question:

Back in March, we also saw Victoria Nuland stonewall on the very same question:

In the face of such hysteria enters the rational voice of Elliott Abrams, who was a foreign policy adviser for both President Reagan and President George W. Bush.

Abrams writes that the irrational refusal of the Obama administration to recognize Jerusalem makes no sense:
As someone who has dealt with this issue while serving in the U.S. government, I have always found it odd that administration after administration calls this a “final status issue.” At worst for Israel, a return to the 1949 armistice lines would leave Israel in full control of west Jerusalem, where its government institutions are located: the Knesset, courts, ministries, and prime minister’s office. Whatever the disposition or division of the Old City, the Palestinian claim does not involve west Jerusalem. It is therefore bizarre that we refuse to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, even if we feel obliged to say that the final borders of the city remain to be negotiated or that parts of the city are also claimed by Palestinians for the capital of an eventual Palestinian state.
Past administrations are gone, but the Obama administration is still in power--at least for the time being.

Based on what Abrams writes, why doesn't the Obama administration, which clearly needs it, earn some Israeli good will and Jewish votes, by just admitting that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel with the boundaries of that capital to be decided in final status talks.

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