The status of the city of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish nation and state is becoming one of the central questions that separates Barack Obama from Mitt Romney among Jewish people and among people who care about the state of Israel.
When Barack Obama ran for president he stood up before the Jewish world and lied through his teeth. He said:
Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.
Once he became president, with the help of Jewish voters and financial donations, he quickly changed his mind. The Obama administration is so hostile to Israel that State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, not only would not agree that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, she couldn't even tell us which country Jerusalem is even in, including the western portion of the city.
Question: 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.
By contrast, in Mitt Romney's recent trip to that city he said:
It is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.
Our two nations are separated by more than 5,000 miles,” he continued. “But for an American abroad, you can’t get much closer to the ideals and convictions of my own country than you do in Israel. We’re part of the great fellowship of democracies. We speak the same language of freedom and justice, and the right of every person to live in peace. We serve the same cause and provoke the same hatreds in the same enemies of civilization."
In response progressives, including Jewish progressives, claimed that this represents a "gaffe" that is deeply insulting to the perpetually insulted Palestinians. What is perhaps most disappointing is the failure of the Jewish left to stand up for themselves and for the Jewish people. If "progressive Zionists" cannot even be counted on to affirm that Jerusalem is, indeed, the capital of Israel then what in this world do they stand for?
The very first obligation of any leader is to defend his or her people. A leader who cannot be trusted to do that cannot be trusted to do anything whatsoever. If liberal diaspora Jewry is so weak that they will not stand with Israelis on the question of Jerusalem then it very much highlights the split between us.
Israelis, because they live there, are much stronger on security and other issues revolving around the Arab-Israel conflict and they most definitely have the ability to discern who their friends are and who their friends are not. Most Israelis do not much like or trust Barack Obama for the simple reason that Obama has proven himself untrustworthy. He wrecked whatever potential there may have been for a negotiated agreement, blamed Israel for his own policy blunders, and he helped usher the Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt.
Israelis understand the gravity of these events, even if fainthearted "progressive" diaspora Jews do not. The truth of the matter is that Israel is on its own. It cannot count on the west, nor can it count on the American president, nor even many diaspora Jews who seem so enamored of dhimmitude that they refuse to stand strongly with the Jewish state of Israel by even agreeing that Jerusalem is the capital of the state which should remain undivided.
Until "progressive" Jews find some back-bone they are almost entirely worthless to the cause of Jewish sovereignty and freedom from persecution in the Middle East.
Writing of Obama's Jerusalem policy in the Jerusalem Post, Daniel Tauber says the following:
This rationale does not make the position any less ridiculous. It makes it insulting. It rejects the threemillennia- old status of Jerusalem as the center of the Jewish people’s national-cultural-religious life and the center of the modern Jewish nationalist movement, which was named after Zion, i.e. Jerusalem, long before a Palestinian people was ever claimed to exist. Insult to national identity aside, it denies Israel’s sovereign right to choose its capital and further subjects that right to the veto of the Palestinian Authority.
Obama's policy toward Jerusalem gives the Palestinians a veto over Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state. Diaspora Jews, if they would like to grow a spine, need to stand with Israelis in letting Obama know that this is simply unacceptable.
Jerusalem is, indeed, the capital of the Jewish state of Israel.
The Palestinians have had their opportunity to share the city, but they refused.
Let them have Ramallah, instead.