Friday, March 30, 2012

Obama's Department of State is No Friend to Israel

Mike L.

Q: Yesterday there was a bit of a kerfuffle over an announcement that was made by the department about the travel of your boss. Is it the State Department's position that Jerusalem is not part of Israel?

MS. NULAND: Well, you know that our position on Jerusalem has not changed. The first media note was issued in error, without appropriate clearances. We reissued the note to make clear that undersecretary, acting undersecretary for -- our -- Kathy Stevens will be travelling to Algiers, Doha, Amman, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. With regard to our Jerusalem policy, it's a permanent-status issue. It's got to be resolved through the negotiations between the parties.

Q: Is it the view of the -- of the United States that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, notwithstanding the question about the embassy -- the location of the U.S. embassy?

MS. NULAND: We are not going to prejudge the outcome of those negotiations, including the final status of Jerusalem.

Q: Does that -- does that mean that you do not regard Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?

MS. NULAND: Jerusalem is a permanent-status issue. It's got to be resolved through negotiations.

Q: That seems to suggest that you do not regard Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Is that correct or not?

MS. NULAND: I have just spoken to this issue --

Q: (Inaudible.)

MS. NULAND: -- and I have nothing further to say on it.

Q: You've spoken to the issue --


Q: -- 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.

MS. NULAND: That is our --

Q: What is the capital of Israel?

MS. NULAND: 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.

Q: What is the capital of Israel according --

MS. NULAND: Our embassy, as you know, is located in Tel Aviv.

Q: So does that mean you regard Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel?

MS. NULAND: The issue on Jerusalem has to be settled through negotiations.


  1. A bit unfair to dump on Obama for American policy, even if it's questionable policy.

    It would be a great thing for the USA and Obama to do. It would recognize reality and send a message to all sides.

    Washington kabuki must go on, however, and part of the shtick, it seems to me, is to sensationalize and divert attention away from where it ought be. I see this episode as part of the "noise" while wanting America to re-think policy, though it arguably cannot.

  2. Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish nation-state like London is the capital of the British nation-state and Paris is the capital of the French nation-state.

    I would not necessarily have minded dividing it if the Palestinian-Arabs had actually wanted a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one, but clearly that is not what they want.

    It seems to me, School, that this is the first realization that people need to have in order to start really reformulating our approach to the conflict.

    Oslo is over.

    Someone alert Barack Obama.