Commentary Magazine


Another Jerusalem Syndrome

Today at the AIPAC conference, Nominee Barack Obama declared that “Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of Israel” in any future agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. But it was only three weeks ago that Daniel Kurtzer, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel and Obama’s adviser on middle east policy, announced that “it will be impossible to make progress on serious peace talks without putting the future of Jerusalem on the table.” Let’s just say that Obama’s thoughts on Jerusalem are still in their fluid stage.

I remember when I was a kid, I used to get excited every time a presidential candidate promised to recognize Jerusalem officially as the capital of Israel by moving the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. But then my dad would say, “They always promise that. They never, ever do it.” Decades later, they still haven’t done it, and I’ve concluded that the best thing is to ignore all campaign promises about Jerusalem, even when they are not contradicted by the candidate’s closest advisers–and all the more so when they are.

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