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. rw md

    Ya know he's such a bigot like most presidents we've had but we need Isreal they all kiss up.
    That's why they make so many slips when talking about the
    subject of jews because they don't usually mean what there

    July 23, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. MJ

    OBAM is the biggest flip-flopper around. McCain and OBAMA ARE HORRIBLE CANDIDATES.

    July 23, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. rw md

    Another photo op.

    July 23, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. JoeMamma

    Nice hat.

    July 23, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. David, Silver Spring, MD

    I think John Lennon had it right in "Imagine."

    Too many people have been killed in the name of things that no one can clearly define, much less prove to exist.

    July 23, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Debby, NJ

    Go Obama Goooooooo!!!

    July 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. Greg. PA

    He never says what he doesn't say when he flubs it up, this guy talks in circles and democrats voted for this idiot!

    July 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Why is he wearing that stupid hat in the photo?

    Won't wear the American flag-is a Christian–but will prostitute himself to wear Jewish head cover?

    What a political prostitute.

    July 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. ali

    his weight is fine,for his height.hes not even fat at all.

    July 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Lisa

    Will say and do anything to get elected!!!

    July 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Robert

    Nice hat, Obama. Now you have a dual personality set ... one to use when you go to visit the Muslims so you can fit in with them and one to use when your go to visit the Jews so you can be at One with them. Got a soldier's cap to use when go to visit the troops so you can fit in with them too? Maybe a sombrero when you campaign in front of Latinos? We get it. You're not a lapel pin kind of guy. Hats are what you use to fit in wherever you go.

    July 23, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. karen-phoenix

    Obama is brilliant!!! Peace is patriotic and world is beginning to realize this!! NO MORE WARS!!!! Use diplomacy and not "cowboy diplomacy" that if you don't what we want we will bomb you which has been Bush's form of diplomacy and McCain is following in Bush's footsteps. Again–NO MORE WARS!!!

    July 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. Dr. Eval

    Please vote for McCain. I make WMD's for a living and with the economy the way it is im afraid Ill lose my job.

    July 23, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Vig

    This trip of Obama's is one big turn-off. It's blatently a promotional tour for photo opportunities. We have inflated gas prices, inflated grocery prices and an inflated candidate – thanks to a very, very biased media. Obama is the image candidate – watch the flip-flops increase after this trip. John McCain needs to do a campaign ad showing a split screen of Obama vs. Obama – talking out of both sides of his mouth. If McCain misses this opportunity – how will he lead a country? The problem with John McCain – he's too complacent. The problem with Obama – he's a wishy-wash. Two duds. Hillary, where are you?

    July 23, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. Phil in KC

    Talk about walking a tight rope! He's trying to appease both sides and that's a virtual impossibility.
    Since both sides claim it and at least 3 major religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) have deep ties to this city, I'd suggest making it a sort of neutral zone or demilitarized zone – kind of an independent city/state. That would hack off all involved, which probably means it would work.

    July 23, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Allan

    Jews people will be idiot to vote for obama. the gay is fake,fake

    July 23, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Felicia


    July 23, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Mike - Texas

    Flip Flopping again I see.

    Why is he wearing a Jewish head cap?

    July 23, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Joe

    He also said that Iran was a small country and not a threat and now today he says that Iran is a grave threat. Which one is it Obama?

    July 23, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. jake, San Francisco, CA

    Shouldn't these two countries just become one and declare Jerusalem the capital of that one country? Or better yet make Jerusalem a country by itself that doesn't belong to Israel or Palestine?

    July 23, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  21. Bayou Joe

    CNN,,,,Where is the story about "Iran poses a great Threat" ,,, comments by Obama. Hope it doesn't cost him the Iranian Votes.

    Flip-Flop. Flip-Flop.

    July 23, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. leon

    THe Hispanic community will understand and recognize that Senator Obama is an average politician that makes customized promises of change everywhere he goes in order to get the votes of that community.

    His actions proved that he does not care about achieving or meeting his goals as the asbestos project he was involved in in Chicago shows.

    Obama is moving to the center now and will sacrifice his positions with the ledt wing of the Democratic Party to appeal to the center and some right wing voters.

    Is this the change we want: It is not. We do not want this arrogant person in the white house.

    Please bring back Hillary Clinton

    July 23, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Obama Supporter from FL

    Does he have a yarmulke on his head?! Or is that his halo? lol

    July 23, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. California Voter

    This is campaign trip through and through! And Obama will come back from it touting all his "foreign policy" experience . . .can't wait to here it. Oh, and his concert, I mean acceptance speech at the stadium . . something about his whole campaign smells funny . . .

    July 23, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. Linda

    This is a 'Man of the World'. He demostrates what Peace and Calm is truly about. The Majority of the World -can't be wrong.

    July 23, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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