Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Israel Matzav: Axelrod: Obama knows Jerusalem can't be first issue

Axelrod: Obama knows Jerusalem can't be first issue

Obama adviser David Axelrod told a group of Jewish journalists on Tuesday that President Obama understands that Jerusalem cannot be the first issue between Israel and the 'Palestinians.' In fact, says Axelrod, it probably ought to be the last issue.

Axelrod spoke after President Obama hosted Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace laureate and Holocaust memoirist, for lunch. Wiesel had published an advertisement in The New York Times obliquely criticizing the Obama administration for pressuring Israel to stop building in eastern Jerusalem; Axelrod said Obama's lunch invitation to Wiesel predated the ad.

Disagreements over Jerusalem in March had precipitated two months of U.S.-Israel tensions, which Wiesel declared were now over.

"The tension I think is gone, which is good," he said after the lunch.

Jennifer Rubin is incredulous:

So let’s review. The adviser who went on the Sunday talk shows to make clear how angry Obama was over a Jerusalem housing project and has personally counseled the president to go beserk with the Israelis over the issue and who presumably is aware of the threat to abstain rather than veto a UN resolution should that building proceed now says it’s the last issue we should talk about. If you’re confused, I’m sure the parties in the region are, too. There are several explanations.

She goes on to give three explanations. This is the one that I find most plausible.

Or the Obama brain trust may be practicing some bizarre word games and hoping everyone plays along. Yes, yes, Jerusalem is a final status issue, but we can’t let Israel “predetermine” the outcome by building in its capital (even though this was precisely the agreement reached with the Bush administration), so “final” doesn’t mean they won’t make demands on the Israeli government now.

But of course, the Obami have disavowed other commitments made by President Bush, so why not this one too? You mean diplomacy isn't practiced that way? Well, maybe it's time for some CHANGE!

Actually, the real question about this explanation is why if Israel cannot be allowed to predetermine the outcome, it can still be predetermined by the 'Palestinians' who are allowed to continue to build freely in Jerusalem (backed up by American threats if any buildings are destroyed). Shouldn't sauce for the goose be sauce for the gander? If it's only Israel that cannot be build, what incentive is there for the 'Palestinians' to bargain in good faith? They have nothing to lose!

Israel Matzav: Axelrod: Obama knows Jerusalem can't be first issue

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