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. EMJ

    The situation with Jerusalem was caused by Obama and it is all his fault. Global Warming problem? Obama. Hurricane Dolly? Obama's fault. High gas prices? Blame Obama. Poor economy? Obama's fault.

    So now let the Obama trashing begin...

    July 23, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Lets see if I get this right:

    The Palestinians deserve their own state (knowing full well how they feel about Jerusalem).

    We will support Israel (knowing how they feel about Jerusalem).

    We shouldn't sector Jerusalem?

    So who gets Jerusalem?

    July 23, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Dave, Illinois

    The man is an arrogant fool.

    July 23, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Amare

    I would like to ask Mr. Obama if he is saying " Jerusalem will be the capital of Isreal", as a senator or as a nomminee for president of the United states. If he is saying as a nominee it is okay becuase he will not be a part of the negociation process, but if he is saying it as a nominee he already took side and can not be accepted by the Palestinians. Mr Obama make your stand clear.

    July 23, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. Scott L

    Why is he wearing a kippah? Is he now Jewish? I thought he was Christian? Are Christians supposed to wear kippah's if visiting Israel? What is the deal here?

    July 23, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. Blueray98

    Obama Without a Teleprompter:

    OBAMA: Well, let me — let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. It will be a strong friend of Israel’s under a McCain government — administration. It will be a strong friend of Israel’s under an Obama administration. So that policy is not going to change.

    July 23, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    Obama is the man – the leader of the 21st century!

    it's a breath of fresh air after a president like Dubya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    we need this guy...seriously!

    July 23, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Voter

    Hey, headline news:

    The genius just figured out that an Iran nuclear build-up is a threat.

    Who knew?

    July 23, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. ali

    an attempt to smear obama ,again.boring.......

    July 23, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. JD

    yes, but will Israel be a caliphate?

    July 23, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Carlos

    the future belong to the young! Amen.

    GO BO!!!

    July 23, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. "THE GREATEST VANITY" !

    Rejoice, rejoice America for in the Holy Land upon a hill your

    "MESSIAH" declared himself ! Let him be known as:

    "BARACK OBAMA" the great....and he shall overrule you with

    an iron fist.....down with your Military Commanders and take ye

    your rank and file with you...from this time forward he will lead

    invisible armies and the world will obey.....!!

    'GO FORTH MEDIA AND SPREAD HIS WORD...!

    0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

    July 23, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Connie

    All I can say is God be with you President Obama . Connie from Indiana

    July 23, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. pissedoff in boston

    all that this proves is, AIPAC is lethal to democracy.

    July 23, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. JimBlanco

    Another flip-flop goes unchallenged. Are we witnessing the politics of hope? More like the politcs of dope. Change, we can believe... that he will change his stance with whatever direction the wind blows. Sounds like politics as usual.

    July 23, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. NotFallingInLine.org

    Obama, you neophyte in a nice suit, stop telling the world where 'we' stand. You don't represent the American people, you selectee of the undemocratic Democratic Party. Shut up and learn something.

    NotFallingInLine.org

    July 23, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. Donna in ID

    Why doesn't he just stay over there and run those countries????

    July 23, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. Griff

    The man with no past,other than a Religious Triangle???

    July 23, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. Lourdes

    Great photo! Thanks for putting it up, CNN.

    July 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. Ian

    Or we could mind our own business, take care of the people and infrastructure of the U.S., and lead by example.

    Just a thought.

    July 23, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Henry

    Picture worth a thousand words!

    July 23, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. Chutzpah

    "First of all I did not change my statement that Jerusalem should remain undivided."

    I simply failed to mention it. In front of an Israeli audience. Where it could cost me Jewish votes come November.

    July 23, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. NPA

    McCain is complaining that Obama gets too much coverage; the media is complaining that Obama is not making himself accessible to the media. I think the media should cover McCain: McCain sees boarders where no one else sees them (Iraq and Afghanistan); he bashed Obama for supposedly getting the facts wrong about the timeline between the surge and the Iraqis decision to kick Al Qaeda out, whereas McCain is actually the one who gets the "history" wrong; he does not know that Iraqis and Al Qaeda do not agree religiously.

    I think the media should cover McCain.

    July 23, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. arlene, CA

    All the World Leaders Obama has met with are giving him High Praise! I have been watching all his speeches and Obama you are doing just soooooo good.! MSame doesn't even come close & MSame is becoming even more confused & frustrated because of Obama's success & he is making error after error each time he speaks. Barack Obama for President 08-16

    July 23, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. David Goldman for OBAMA

    I AM AN AMERICAN JEW.

    JEWS & PALESTINIANS NEED TO SOLVE THEIR OWN

    PROBLEMS WITH ALL THE HELP WE CAN GIVE THEM.

    WE CAN'T DO IT, NOR SHOULD WE TRY. IT WILL WORK

    WHEN BOTH SIDES ARE COMMITTED TO IT. THERE HAS

    TO BE GIVE ON BOTH SIDES. NO SIDE WILL GET ALL THEY

    WANT, NO MATTER HOW MANY RIGHT WINGERS PROPOSE IT.

    IT AIN'T GONNA BE EASY & IT AIN'T GONNA BE QUICK.

    July 23, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6