July 23rd, 2008
11:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama again weighs in on Jerusalem

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/23/art.obamaisr.gi.jpg caption="Obama again laid out his policy on Jerusalem Wednesday."] (CNN) - Barack Obama said Wednesday that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel, though he did not repeat his headline-grabbing June comment that the city should remain “undivided.”

“First of all, I didn’t change my statement” from his June position, he told reporters in Sderot, Israel. “I continue to say that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel. I have said that before, and I will say it again.

"I also have said that it is important that we don't simply slice the city in half, but I've also said that that's a final status issue. That's an issue that has to be dealt with with the parties involved - the Palestinians and the Israelis. It's not the United States' job to dictate the form in which that will take, but rather to support the efforts that are being made right now to resolve these very difficult issues that have a long history.”

Shortly after effectively clinching the Democratic nomination, Obama told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that as president, he would work to bring about a two-state solution, with side-by-side Jewish and Palestinian states – and that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."

After the comment, which drew concern from Palestinian leaders, his campaign spent several days clarifying his position.

Earlier this month, Obama told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that he had used "poor phrasing" in a June speech that supported Jerusalem’s status as the undivided capital of Israel.

"You know, the truth is that this was an example where we had some poor phrasing in the speech. And we immediately tried to correct the interpretation that was given," he said.

"The point we were simply making was, is that we don't want barbed wire running through Jerusalem - similar to the way it was prior to the '67 war - that it is possible for us to create a Jerusalem that is cohesive and coherent."

Jerusalem has also been claimed by Palestinian leaders as the capital of any future state. Congress passed a law declaring the city the capital of Israel, and saying it should remain undivided, but the U.S. Embassy has remained in Tel Aviv.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. fella from Chicago

    Presidential? Hardly; I bet Obama was hoping he received a Beanie with a propeller on top rather than the Kippah.He definitely would then look the part of the Democratic Presidential presumptive nominee we all know he is. Easier to flip-flop with that propeller.

    July 23, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Abby

    Super D, how about reading the polls that say that Obama is wayyyyy ahead in teh Jewish vote?

    July 23, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    The Arab press is blasting Obama's visit to the Palestinian leaders, citing it as just playing to US voters. Looks like Mr. Billiant struck out with his first visit to the Moslem world. No surprise there.

    July 23, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. PUMA 4 HILL

    Quiet everyone... the messiah is speaking again.

    No disrespect but he's hardly his own man. He's a puppet for the moveon.org's, etc.


    July 23, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Ben - Portland

    Dear Mike, Syracuse, NY-

    "Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel." Are you even aware of the issues here, man? Do you not know that Israel took control of East Jerusalem in 1967 (Ever hear of the 6 day war?) and their control of the city was- and still is- disputed by not only the Palestinians but by also the United Nations? Why does Obama say this? Probably because the Israeli control of Jerusalem is key to the existence of Israel, and the United States is committed to protecting the Israel’s right to exist while trying to forge a peace that will last in the region.

    July 23, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Joe

    Human Right is for All, You can not rub peter to Pay paul.
    Drive all the Palestinian into Refuge camp for 50 years
    so Jews can live in peace what about that !!!! you kidding me.
    Why, don,t we name Israel as America 51th state.
    I am wondering why all the attention, America is a multiculture society
    and as such, they should support only what make sense.
    It seems Terrorist will never end.
    Because Injustice promote violence.
    And for morons out there, We need a change Palestinian love life as much as the jews do.
    The issue of the Jews and Palestinian should be resolve by UN and not false commitiment by Any America president.
    Any one who want peace no what to do.
    if the free 3-4 billion dollars the jewish state is receiving from America tax payer is not enough? I wish every country in the world received the same amount. May be it only Jewish America pay taxes in America.
    We want equal right and justice for humanity includes Palestinian
    So, Obama do not be afraid to speak the truth about real peace and not what any Jews want you to say.
    You are wrong on this issue.............

    July 23, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Jan

    I am starting to think that Obama is senile and confused and he is -what-46? I can't believe how he forgets what he said previously when reading his obviously prompted statements. He should stop talking about things and JUST LISTEN! He was supposed to be on this trip to fact-find–not make "presidential statements." At least it was touted as such.

    July 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Obama 08: white, 60 year old woman

    Texas Trail Dog: such hate and vemon you spew daily; you reflect the candidate you support!

    July 23, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |


    July 23, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. ARB

    I'd rather have President Bush in office for another 8 years than to elect Obama.

    July 23, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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