Obama: I never promised an undivided Jerusalem

Monday, July 14, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Ahead of an upcoming visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas, US presidential candidate Barack Obama reiterated on Sunday that he never intended to support Israel's position that Jerusalem remain its eternal, undivided capital.

Obama said in an interview with CNN that he had used "poor phrasing" in a speech last month that most took to be an unprecedented vote of support by a US presidential candidate for Israel's refusal to surrender half of its biblical capital to the Palestinian Arabs.

Addressing the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) just days after clinching the Democratic presidential nomination in June, Obama declared that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."

In Sunday's interview Obama clarified that "the point we were simply making is that we don't want barbed wire running through Jerusalem, similar to how it was prior to the '67 war, that it is possible for us to create a Jerusalem that is cohesive and coherent."

Obama is scheduled to visit the region next week to discuss his intended policies. Meetings with top Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders have already been confirmed.

Right-wing Israeli lawmakers later warned in remarks to Israel's Walla news portal that Obama's deceptive rhetoric make him a serious threat to Israel if he is elected president.

A poll conducted last week by the Peace Index Project at Tel Aviv University found that 46 percent of Israelis prefer that Obama's opponent, Senator John McCain, win the upcoming US presidential election. Only 20 percent of respondents said they want Obama to win.

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