NCJA: DOES PRESIDENT OBAMA TRULY “HAVE ISRAEL’S BACK?”

The National Conference on Jewish Affairs is appalled that the United States Department of State has adamantly refused to recognize that Jerusalem – any part of Jerusalem – is the capital of Israel, the Jewish State.

At the daily briefing this week for reporters by the US Department of State, the spokesperson Victoria Nuland made crystal clear that this US administration takes the official position that it will be up to the Arab Palestinian leadership to play a role in deciding whether Jerusalem – ANY PART OF JERUSALEM – will be considered the capital of Israel, and that until those Arabs have conclusively weighed in on this issue the US government does not consider any part of Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital.

The video can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8jra_mPKXQ

This is in addition to reports that former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton has alleged that the Obama administration leaked information about covert Israeli activities as “part of the Administration’s campaign against an Israeli attack” on Iran. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/29/bolton-accuses-administration-leaking-story-on-israeli-planning-along-iran/ 

According to Fox News, “Bolton, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the George W. Bush administration, was responding to an article in Foreign Policy magazine that quoted government sources claiming Israel had been granted access to airfields in Azerbaijan– along Iran’s northern border. The article did not state exactly what the Israelis’ intentions were, but it suggested it could point to a possible strike on Iran.”

All this happening in the space of one week, not to mention the Administration’s silence on the week’s violent Global March to Jerusalem riots,  underscores what many Jews and friends of Israel have feared:  that there may indeed been a seismic major shift in U.S. policy away from Israel under the Obama Administration.

NCJA calls on all members of Congress to weigh in on these important issues, and asks all friends of Israel to ask their congressional representatives to state their own positions on these matters.  NCJA will post any statements that are pro-Israel.  

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This is from the official State Department transcript:

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

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 Stephens 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 –

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

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.

….

Q: I just want to go back to—I want to clarify something, perhaps give you an “out” on your Jerusalem answer. Is it your—is it your position that all of Jerusalem is a final-status issue, or do you think—or is it just East Jerusalem?

MS. NULAND: Matt, I don’t have anything further to what I’ve said 17 times on that subject. OK?

Q: All right. So hold on. So I just want to make sure. You’re saying that all of Jerusalem, not just East Jerusalem, is a final-status issue.

MS. NULAND: Matt, I don’t have anything further on Jerusalem to what I’ve already said.