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. Janet

    Thank you CNN for this picture. Obama looks "cute" in his yamika. Now show this over and over as you did when the picture of him in native Somali garb came out and we Obama supporters will call it even.

    July 23, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Obama Supporter from FL

    BTW – no offense meant, I really just can't tell if that was a yarmulke in the picture, but I wasn't trying to make fun of it if it was...

    July 23, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Phil

    I support Obama, BUT, his sucking up to Israel is pathetic. He will do anything to show he's not Muslim.

    I hate politicians.

    July 23, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. Kaleb

    Obama's jerusalem positioning game...see if and when you can hit a moving target...its fun! undivided jerusalem....2 days later divided jerusalem.....2 weeks later, undivided jerusalem. What will the position be next week? next month? take your guess and at any given moment in time you'll have a 50% chance of being right 🙂

    July 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Montana is Obama Country


    Barack is very Presidential and will be a honest & GREAT Leader for America and all American's of the United States..


    July 23, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. 82nd Airborne Division

    Jerusalem should remain undivided despite the fact that the Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site, much of the media has stressed its importance to Muslims (the third holiest behind Mecca and Medina) while ignoring or downplaying the very legitimate Jewish religious and historical connection to the site, which precedes Muslim attachments by 1500 years. Despite ridiculous Palestinian claims that a Jewish Temple never existed on the site (which would negate both Jewish and Christian history), its identity with the location of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. I think Barack has great affection for Israel, lets not forget that Kenya the birth place of Obama's father and Israel have enjoyed a strong and fruitful relationship based on mutual friendship, respect and trust.
    Also there is a very small Jewish community prospering in Nairobi
    today.I do have too admit that Barack Hussein Obama does look
    quite Noble wearing a yamika.

    Shabbat Shalom

    July 23, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Rave

    McPain has nothing more to do.. Obama acheived everything in 1 trip, which McCain could not acheive in several trips.
    McCain goes there as a Gold Digger
    Obama went there as a true Leader
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    July 23, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. bimmer

    Obama. The Houdini of changing position and escaping the liberal media scrutiny.

    July 23, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. frank

    seems to me me, this is one lobby he will not mess with ha ha .

    July 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    Nice yarmulke!

    OBAMA 08!

    July 23, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. Obama Supporter

    Is that just a bad angle on something behind him in the picture, or is he wearing a yarmulke?

    July 23, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  12. Richard

    Barack Hussein Obama stay in the Middle East you seem more comfortable there and you are closer to your Muslim roots.

    July 23, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. Tolu, in Minneapolis

    Baruch is looking good in a Yamaka!

    July 23, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. Marie in California

    Flip-flopping and playing with words.....again. What an opportunist and chameleon we have in Obama! He changes everything he says depending on what audience he's trying to play.

    A chameleon and a player! Yup!

    Was for Hillary, now for McCain!


    July 23, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. eric

    I can't say I agree with Obama on this one, but one need not agree with their preferred candidate 100% of the time to still happily vote for him. At least he's smart enough to leave the details like this up to the Israelis and Palestinians themselves. McCain would be yet another tragedy to befall an already tragic region.

    July 23, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    I have more respect for Madam Secretrary of State Rice. Firstly, she is the epitome of everything Black. From Civil Rights to Patroitism. She knows where to draw the line as an individual. A great American Model of modern times in America. I would like to see her finish off strongly to the finish line. Obamania is wanning.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Go home!

    July 23, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. Republican_for_Barack

    You rock B.O

    I have always voted for the GOP my whole life and for the first time i can say :It's about time somebody steps uo and draws a clear line in that conflict . not at all what we've been seeing for 8 years ! There is room in that city for those 2 nations. While Mc Cain is still having hallucinations about Tchecoslovakia , you 're dealing with real problems out there !
    Can't wait for you to be president and help this matter resolved !
    Gad saves this candidate!

    July 23, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. Marc PDX

    What a bunch of mumbo-jumbo?! I can't tell what he means. Anybody want to take a crack at decyphering what he said?

    (Jimmy Carter returns)

    July 23, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. NC Man

    Obama has no clue .... his LIES will catch up with him!

    July 23, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. I am so cool

    "And then there were pickles!" exalted a heaving and breathless Obama after completing his trek up the side of Mount Willie. I wonder how much jerusalem weighs now that Obama weighed in too. I bet he weighs like 115, any takers?

    July 23, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Porter

    "I continue to say that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel."

    Does the president of the United States decide where Israel's capital will be located?

    July 23, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Matt--NE

    The other day, UHHBama said:

    “Let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s.”


    ...and they say McCain is losing it.

    July 23, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    WELL SAID SEN. OBAMA! Of course the far-right-nuts will be attacking and criticizing but that's all they've got.

    A vote for McCain is a vote for more war, more dead soldiers, more maimed!

    A vote for McCain is continuing to spend $1.38 BILLION A DAY IN IRAQ........... though now I hearing him say that the troops will be coming home! WHOSE pandering?!

    Can you imagine what our nation could do with the $650 BILLION SPENT EACH YEAR IN IRAQ???????????????????????????


    July 23, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. dave g, Minneapolis

    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."

    Riiiight....More nation building. It has worked so well in Iraq, lets get in the middle of the Israelis and the Palestineans.

    Oh, bama, how smart you are.

    Let's get out of other people's business.

    BARR '08

    July 23, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. A nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    HEY I am not sure it is appropriate for the Prince of Darkness to wear a Kippah or is he actually wearing a Topi? Looks like a Topi to me.

    What a blowhard. The reason he doesn't know what committees he is on in the US Senate is because he is never there long enough to know.

    Maybe he should have a mentor like his wife has. For Mr. Obama's knowledge he is not on the banking committee. Nice try hussein but you get no cigars.

    You are all hot air and cotton candy with no substance. Now you have to stretch the truth to pump up you lacking resume. WOW

    July 23, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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