Bad Ideas About Jerusalem

5 Jun

Via Matt Yglesias, Obama’s speech to AIPAC included this wrongheaded line:

Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.

Not only is this unrealistic, it’s moving backwards. Every plan for a two state solution since the Clinton Parameters has included some kind of split in sovereignty for Jerusalem. If facts on the ground had changed radically that would be one thing. But they haven’t. So it’s an idea that remains divorced from reality, as Gershom Gorenberg observes:

In most respects, Jerusalem is already a divided city, and recognizing this politically is the key to precisely the kind of agreement that Obama says he’d like to reach. Alas. “Yes, We Can” pander to Aipac.


Obama’s people clarify that his comment doesn’t preclude Palestinian sovereignty :

“Two principles should apply to any outcome,” which the adviser gave as: “Jerusalem remains Israel’s capital and it’s not going to be divided by barbed wire and checkpoints as it was in 1948-1967.”

He refused, however, to rule out other configurations, such as the city also serving as the capital of a Palestinian state or Palestinian sovereignty over Arab neighborhoods.

“Beyond those principles, all other aspects are for the two parties to agree at final status negotiations,” the Obama adviser said.

(H/T Byron York at The Corner)


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