Obama and Jerusalem

Is there something I’ve missed? I usually stay out of Israel – support the peacemakers, fight the wreckers (Socialist Worker Party, One State Group, etc) and listen to people who know.

But I was surprised and dismayed to learn that Barack Obama said that Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of Israel. Arab East Jerusalem – Al Quds – is supposed to be the capital of Palestine and this involves dividing Jerusalem. This course of action is in line with the Geneva Accords and Taba. Moreover, many peace groups depend on this prospect to reconcile Palestinians to a Palestinian state alongside Israel. OneVoice built an amazing 57% consensus on dividing Jerusalem at parallel town hall meetings in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. I’m not surprised Mahmoud Abbas rejected Obama’s unbelievably undermining pledge.

Another of Obama’s pledges was reassuring – not to withdraw support from Israel “not while there are still groups who deny the holocaust, not when there are terrorist groups that are committed to Israel’s destruction… Not while there are rockets raining down on Sderot”. From what I can gather, Israel is heavily dependent on the US in this respect. And if somebody doesn’t stop the insidious work of the far left in Britain (their flagrantly ignorant smashing of Zionists), I may need to move there at some stage.

But he – everyone – needs to keep faith with Palestinian national aspirations. Hope is so important in this conflict, and I think that is particularly true for ordinary Palestinians in their current circumstances.

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