FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNION OF ORTHODOX JEWISH CONGREGATIONS EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED IN OBAMA CAMPAIGN’S REVISION OF STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT TO AN UNDIVIDED JERUSALEM
Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, expressed its deep disappointment with statements by the Obama Campaign designed to further explain Sen. Obama’s statement, made at the AIPAC policy conference yesterday, about the critical issue of Jerusalem.
In his AIPAC address, Sen. Obama stated: “Let me be clear. Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable…..any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
Sen. Obama’s statement was understood by Israel’s friends and foes to be a clear statement against the re-division of Jerusalem. So much so, that Arab leaders blasted him for it.
But in responding today to inquiries by the Jerusalem Post, the Obama campaign stated that Sen. Obama’s position is to be correctly understood as viewing the issue of Jerusalem as a “final status issue to be negotiated by the two parties” and that Jerusalem must “remain Israel’s capital not to be divided by barbed wire and checkpoints as it was 1948-1967.”
In response to this new statement from the Obama Campaign, Nathan Diament, public policy director of the Orthodox Union, issued the following statement:
The Orthodox Union is extremely disappointed in this revision of Senator Obama’s important statement about Jerusalem. In the current context, everyone understands that saying “Jerusalem…must remain undivided” means that the holy city must remain unified under Israeli rule, as it has been since 1967. Only Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has brought security to all of its holy sites and freedom of access and worship to people of all faiths. If Senator Obama intended his remarks at AIPAC to be understood in this way, he said nothing that would reasonably lead to this different interpretation.