Obama, Jerusalem and A Change We Can Believe In?
“Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided”
Well, that’s a bit of a problem, my friend. You see, even Israeli officials have been making statements that Jerusalem could be on the table. During the Camp David Summit – Jerusalem was on the table with East Jerusalem to be controled by the Palestinians. The UN does not recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. And here’s the EU position:
“In the context of the two-state solution set out in the Roadmap , a fair solution should be found to the complex issue of Jerusalem, taking into account the political and religious concerns of all parties.
The EU opposes measures which would prejudge the outcome of permanent status negotiations on Jerusalem, basing its policy on the principles set out in UN Security Council Resolution 242 , notably the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force.”
Let me remind you of A Change We Can Believe In:
“Good morning. We all know that these are not the best of times for America’s reputation in the world. We know what the war in Iraq has cost us in lives and treasure, in influence and respect. We have seen the consequences of a foreign policy based on a flawed ideology, and a belief that tough talk can replace real strength and vision.
Many around the world are disappointed with our actions. And many in our own country have come to doubt either our wisdom or our capacity to shape events beyond our borders. Some have even suggested that America’s time has passed.”
It’s not that we’re doubting our wisdom or our capacity to shape events beyond our borders – it’s the fear of corrupt wisdom and knowing full well our capacity to shape events beyond our borders.
There is no doubt that the mistakes of the past six years have made our current task more difficult. World opinion has turned against us. And after all the lives lost and the billions of dollars spent, many Americans may find it tempting to turn inward, and cede our claim of leadership in world affairs.
Today it’s become fashionable to disparage the United Nations, the World Bank, and other international organizations. In fact, reform of these bodies is urgently needed if they are to keep pace with the fast-moving threats we face. Such real reform will not come, however, by dismissing the value of these institutions, or by bullying other countries to ratify changes we have drafted in isolation. Real reform will come because we convince others that they too have a stake in change – that such reforms will make their world, and not just ours, more secure.
Yet, with your statement you are dismissing the values of these institutions before you are even in office. Now, it is you Mr. Obama that is putting on a position of having greater knowledge by going against the rest of the world and today Mr. Obama – the world’s eyes are on you.
We have heard much over the last six years about how America’s larger purpose in the world is to promote the spread of freedom – that it is the yearning of all who live in the shadow of tyranny and despair.
I agree. But this yearning is not satisfied by simply deposing a dictator and setting up a ballot box. The true desire of all mankind is not only to live free lives, but lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and simple justice.
And you have just now, Mr. Obama, taken a side on an issue that was negotiable a step that was above and beyond any presidential policies on Jerusalem. We have the Jerusalem Embassy Act but have you asked yourself why it has not been implemented by any president, including George Bush, since it was passed in 1995. Have you asked yourself why it was suspended semi-annually by each and every president since then?
More to the point, though, how are you ensuring Palestinians living in dignity and opportunity? Certainly, you must understand that simple justice is negated with an endorsement of an undivided Jerusalem serving as Israel’s capital. You must understand that as Israel’s strongest ally such endorsement makes it difficult for any Israeli peace negotiatiators to include Jerusalem as a shared capital – that such endorsement may sway general Israeli public opinion on the matter? You must understand that a shared Jerusalem has been crucial to every Palestinian? You must understand that a shared Jerusalem has been crucial for every Muslim who has a desire to ever visit Jerusalem?
Who knows, maybe the Palestinians and Israelis could come to a peace agreement which includes Jerusalem as an undivided capital of Israel – but that needs to be an agreement that they come to on their own .. not because you say it is a must. Simple justice.
Otherwise – congrats on becomming the Democratic National Presidential Nominee. You are still America’s greatest hope – hopefully you’ll always revisit your own words and be that promise of change we are all so in need of.