July 23rd, 2008
11:00 AM ET
15 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. Frank

    In short – Obama says nothing.

    July 23, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Jon in scary Oregon

    BHO is NOT for for anything Jewish. He has been taught for 20 years by the REV. Wright and the Black theology.

    July 23, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. James





    July 23, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. proud army and navy mom

    the problem with the media is that they want to squeeze evertyhing into a soundbite or headline. it worked with george w because he had very few thoughts on anything.

    it does not work with Sen Obama because he's intelligent and thoughtful. try to keep up cnn or maybe hire some more intelligent reporters so they can get it right.

    July 23, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. shadman

    In my opinion these remarks will not solve the ME problem.
    This is contrary to any mandates and UN resolutions....but since when US and Israel abides by them anyway.....

    July 23, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. No Bama

    Sounds to me like he is straddling the fence again. Wait until you see how the political winds blow then decide what to do with Jerusalem.

    Don't worry about upsetting your supporters they will do whatever you tell them to do and march happily down the street of oblivion.

    I love it, Demos are in La La Land and have no one to blame but themselves.

    Thank God he is not yet the candidate and the Convention can still put
    Hillary as their Candidate. She is the only one that has a chance to win in November.

    July 23, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. Maritza

    Obama presence in Israel was obviously very uncomfortable, he looked and sounded angry, his body language tells a whole other story, at one point he was outright rude, temper ,temper.. easily set off , he remarked at someone asking a question " Why don't you tell your buddy to speak up " He was unable to follow a two part question, those darn index cards with his advisors writtings were tripping him up , very revealing, regardless, he will tell Jewish leaders what they want to hear, it's his actions is what we have to worry about , that old line actions speak louder than words could'nt be more true.


    July 23, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. mary fields

    this is about the comments made about senator mccain's picking a running mate-why is so hard for so called "liberals" to be liberal and adult enough to call an honorable man by his correct name.

    July 23, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Keith

    What a work! Mr. Right can't admit he flubbed, rather he applies the same typical political spin methodology – as he said "we immediately tried to correct the interpretation"

    Now it occurs that we currently have someone like this in the WH – arrogant Mr. Right would be no change at all. We need someone with just a tad bit of humility, an ability to admit ones' mistakes! Not another "I'm always right", "you just misunderstood me" loser!

    July 23, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Tom

    Obama is NOT our leader how about he shut up until he has some power... Same with McCain...

    July 23, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Should be interesting......two states claiming the same capital.

    July 23, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. Kris from AZ

    The right wing noise machine will always try to throw a monkey wrench but Obama is consistant with what he is saying..dont let the right wing fool you.

    July 23, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Peggy Robson

    Flip Flop,
    Flip Flop
    This is what we can expect from here on in...he's a politician and for some reason people have forgotten that and made him someone that he is not...

    July 23, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Joe Regis

    Under President Obama their will be a two states solution between Israel and Palestine.

    As Prince of Peace he will set serious talks b/w the two parties to achieve peace in the Middle East. One thing tough, no alcool should be serve this time so that their can be real talk.

    Obama 08 & 12.

    July 23, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. William, from Cali!

    There is nothing, to be gained by looking at history; it seems to keep "repeating" itself, over and over again.................no matter, how you look at it..................you can't change it, it's history.......already! Watch and prepare for the future; and deal with it as it comes! That's the best , it's going to get!

    July 23, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Dan , TX

    Jerusalem should not be divided by walls and barbed wire like Berlin was during the cold war.

    July 23, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Gail AL.

    Who does Obama think he is. He's acting like he's already the president. This trip was in bad taste, he's not running for office over there.He should be in the states worring about our problems. the AUDICITY OF HIM TO CONCLUDE SO MUCH. I'm surprised he's not visiting the 57th state.

    July 23, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. Kris from AZ

    There is no question the Obama if elected will work just as hard to build a bridge between the palastine and jewish state. Obama 2008!

    July 23, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    "If Barack Obama had had his way, the Sheiks who started the Awakening would have been murdered at the hands of al Qaeda, and US forces would have already left Iraq in defeat," he added.

    A better statement is if Barack Obama had his way 4200 Americans would be alive today. Also 4 trillion dollars would have benn saved, gas prices would have been lower. Further al Qaeda would not have been in Iraq and maybe just maybe OBL would have been killed or captured.

    July 23, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. TC, Fl

    "poor phrasing" OR JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF TELLING PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR and flip-flopping afterwards

    hope ... change ... just what people want to hear, lol IT'S WHAT WE WANT TO SEE, NOT HEAR and we aren't ever going to see it from you, are we Obama?

    July 23, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Vote Nader

    Further proof Sen. Obama has no clue about Israeli/Palestinian relations. Nothing will happen until the United States stops supporting Israel. Saying it's up to them to decide while making claims such as this is foolish. Pick a side, which the United States have done and Sen. Obama/Sen. McCain supports; or stay neutral and encourage talks between the two. You can't do both. And only one choice will lead to peace. It's the one supported by Ralph Nader.

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    July 23, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. Terry, Lakeland Florida

    Wait I read the entire article and Obama talks about Iran getting nukes...how is that possible, Obama and the desm have been screaming for months that Iran isn't working on nukes....I guess that's another example of the Desm trying to have it both ways....it's a good thing we are not as stupid as the left wing dems think we aer.

    July 23, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Kenny - Vancouver, Canada

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

    These are the kind of comments that alienate America from the rest of the world. America's bias towards Isreal is well know and they should stop pretending to be negotiators. We need to let the 2 nations resolve it themselves or have a more neutral power step in.

    July 23, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. Robert

    The Isreal Palestinian confilict is obviously a very tough one to resolve. However, Obama is willing to sit down with BOTH sides and discuss the issues with each in order to acquire an understanding of their disagreements. They will find Obama to be intelligent and amiable to deal with and at the very least, they will be open for any future Obama suggestion that can lead to settlement of their dispute.
    I for one think, that after Obama becomes President of the United States of America, he will then be in a position to work out agreeable terms and a path to peace that will benefit both sides.

    July 23, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. Obama-Junkie, IL

    It's Obamania baby...Obama is nearly everywhere today on the internet, except FOX NEWS. FOX NEWS is still chasing their tails with the false story about McCain's VEEP Selection This Week.

    July 23, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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