Op-Ed: Romney: "Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel" (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) Ted Belman 08/02/12)
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Romney took a stand on Jerusalem. The 1947 UN resolution on Jerusalem
says that at the end of 10 years "the residents of the City shall be
then free to express by means of a referendum their wishes as to
possible modifications of regime of the City."
In the last week, spokespersons for the State Department and for
Obama were pressed on the issue of Jerusalem. Not only were they
unwilling to say the Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, they were
not prepared to acknowledge that the western section of Jerusalem,
which Israel conquered in the ’48 War and which lies to the west of
the armistice lines, was even in Israel.
By acknowledging he was in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, Romney
stepped on a hornet’s nest.
The response from Camp Obama was immediate.
"Some people are scratching their heads a bit" over Romney´s remarks,
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, noting that the
Republican candidate is defying a position "that’s been held by
previous administrations, both Democratic and Republican. So if Mr.
Romney disagrees with that position, he’s also disagreeing with the
position that was taken by Presidents like Bill Clinton and Ronald
And what exactly is that position? Obviously that Jerusalem, all of
it, is not in Israel.
Why so? Israel has exercised sovereignty over western Jerusalem
since ’48 and over all of Jerusalem since ’67.
The position of the US is based in part on Res 181 of the UNGA, (The
Partition Plan), which was passed in 1947. The resolution recommended
the creation of two states, one Arab, one Jewish, both excluding
Jerusalem, which was to be a corpus separatum:
“The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum
under a special international regime and shall be administered by the
United Nations. The Trusteeship Council shall be designated to
discharge the responsibilities of the Administering Authority on
behalf of the United Nations.”
This corpus separatum was to remain for up to 10 years.
“After the expiration of this period the whole scheme shall be
subject to examination by the Trusteeship Council in the light of
experience acquired with its functioning. The residents of the City
shall be then free to express by means of a referendum their wishes
as to possible modifications of regime of the City.”
But for this clause, Ben Gurion wouldn’t have accepted the
resolution. He knew that in ten years, the Jews would be in the
majority in Jerusalem and that they would vote to have Jerusalem join
Israel. Pursuant to this resolution, Israel declared its independence
six months later.
The Arabs, on the other hand, rejected this resolution and invaded
Israel, only to be pushed back, as Israel, fighting for her life,
acquired more territory including the western part of Jerusalem.
The United Nations, led by the US, intervened before Israel could
acquire even more territory and forced Israel to accept a ceasefire,
and a ceasefire line, which the defeated Arabs, including Syria,
Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, were only too happy to accept. This line
became known as the “green line” as it was demarcated in green on the
map. At the insistence of Jordan, the Armistice Agreement provided
that such line would not and did not constitute “borders”. Borders
had to be agreed upon in the future.
The US first tried to prevent Israel from declaring independence and
then in the ceasefire negotiations, tried to force Israel to retreat
to the Partition lines, to no avail. Ben Gurion steadfastly refused.
From then to the present, it has been US policy, not to allow Israel
to win a war with the Arabs decisively or if she did, to force Israel
to retreat to her position before the war.
The one exception to this was UNSC Res 242 which was passed after
Israel’s resounding victory in the ’67 War. This resolution didn’t
require Israel to retreat from all lands conquered, but permitted
Israel to remain in occupation until she had an agreement for “secure
and recognized boundaries”. No mention was made of Jerusalem.
But thereafter, successive US administrations have forced Israel to
include it as a final status issue, notwithstanding that it was
supposed to have been dealt with by referendum. Little, did PM
Shamir, who first accepted it as such, dream that by doing so, the
western part of Jerusalem, which had been Israel´s capitol for the
preceding 30 years, would no longer be considered in Israel.
Obama has attempted to get Israel to accept the green line, otherwise
known as the ’67 lines, as the boundary subject to mutually agreed
swaps of land.
From the perspective of the all recent administrations then,
Jerusalem is not part of Israel until such time as its status is
negotiated. They have even gone so far as to not register Israel as
the country of birth for US citizens born in Jerusalem.
If there isn’t to be a referendum, then there is no corpus separatum
and that part of Jerusalem that lies west of the green line should
rightly be treated no differently than any part of the land west of
the green line, namely as part of Israel.
Similarly, all land lying to the east of the green line is not
considered part of Israel by the international community until
borders are agreed upon. That is why the US forbids settlement
construction there by Jews. Inconsistently, it allows settlement
construction by the Arabs on these lands. It doesn’t seem to bother
the State Department that the same reasoning applies to the Arabs.
Until such time as the land is divided by agreement, it is nobody’s
land and shouldn’t be built upon. Nor should the US operate a
consulate in the eastern part of Jerusalem, which it does, until such
time as there is an agreement on Jerusalem.
So, along comes Romney and says otherwise. Is he simply making a
statement to show solidarity with Israel or is he intending to
reverse the US position should he become President? Of necessity
then, he would have no excuse not to move the US embassy to the
western part of Jerusalem where the Knesset and most government
Or would he continue in the paths of other presidents, in not moving
the embassy to Jerusalem because the timing was not right or some
other excuse. Without such a move, his declaration is meaningless.
Considering his many foreign policy advisors, who are on the right, I
believe he knew what he was doing.
Noah Pollack wrote in the Weekly Standard:
“The controversy has real substance, and Romney’s position has
implications far beyond the status of Jerusalem: It is a pledge to
stop subordinating American policy and conforming America´s treatment
of her allies to the desires of the “international community.” No
more "engagement" for engagement´s sake, which under Obama, like
Jimmy Carter before him, is often bad news for Israel."
I hope he is right. (IsraelNationalNews © 2011 08/02/12)
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