Presidential candidate Barack Obama told a meeting of the Jewish group, AIPAC, he believed Jerusalem must not be allowed to become a divided city. However, yesterday, the Illinois senator backed away from those words and indicted they were “badly phrased.” Obama, during a CNN interview, said: “You know the truth is this was an example of where we had some poor phrasing in the speech and we immediately tried to correct the interpretation that was given. The point we were simply making was that we don’t want barbed wire running through Jerusalem… but it is possible for us to create a Jerusalem that is cohesive and coherent. I was not trying to predetermine what are the essentially final-status issues.”
Obama insists he will not disagree with a two side Jerusalem in which both Israel and Palestinians can call the city its capital. Barack Obama will be visiting Israel in the coming weeks and will make certain he speaks not just with Israel leaders but with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority on July 23.
Obama is correct in stating final decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem are ones that will be made by Israelis and Palestinians, not by candidates for the presidency of the United States. It is time for American political leaders hustling for votes to allow people of the Middle East to decide their own futures.