Daily Israel Report

ZOA: Clinton Owes New Yorkers An Apology

The ZOA has demanded that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologize for falsely claiming to support an undivided Jerusalem as Israel's capital
By David Lev
First Publish: 3/28/2010, 12:13 AM / Last Update: 3/26/2010, 5:20 PM


'We make this demand following your passionate and heartfelt condemnation of Israel for announcing the construction of Jewish homes in a Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem'
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking her "to apologize to your former New York constituents (when you were their Senator) for having misled them by falsely claiming to support an undivided Jerusalem as Israel's capital."  The letter was signed by Morton A. Klein, President of ZOA; Dr. Michael Goldblatt, Chairman, National Board; Dr. Alan Mazurek, Chair, Executive Committee and Steven Goldberg, Esq., Vice-Chairman, National Board.

The letter went on to say, "when you were New York's Senator from 2001 to 2009, you repeatedly stated in speeches and in a September 2007 position paper that you believed 'Israel's right to exist in safety as a Jewish state, with defensible borders and an undivided Jerusalem as its capital, must never be questioned.'  Your spokesperson, Jim Chon, even said, 'this paper is a reflection of her consistent policy.that hasn't changed.'

"Madame Secretary, you also signed the June 2004 Senate Resolution endorsing President Bush's letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that supported Israel 'retaining major Israeli population centers' in Judea and Samaria in any final peace agreement.'

"We make this demand following your passionate and heartfelt condemnation of Israel for announcing the construction of Jewish homes in a Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem by stating that Jews building and moving there 'is an insult to America.'  The only reasonable interpretation of this policy is that it is a first step toward dividing Jerusalem."

Despite Israel's unilateral concession of a ten-month freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, excluding Jerusalem, which the Obama Administration and you had accepted and even praised, the Administration harshly condemned Israel.  Secretary Clinton made a harsh telephone call to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in which, according to the words of the State Department, she called the Israeli announcement "a deeply negative signal about Israel's approach to the bilateral relationship (Glenn Lessler, 'Clinton rebukes Israel over east Jerusalem plan, cites damage to bilateral ties,' Washington Post, March 15, 2010).  Clinton also later described it as being "not only an insult to [visiting Vice-President Joseph] Biden, but an insult to the United States" (Moshe Dann, 'A blessing in disguise,' Yediot Ahronot, March 15, 2010).

The ZOA letter went on to say, "Your shocking words about Israel building in east Jerusalem is especially perplexing in light of the fact that you have ignored Congress passing the 'Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995' by a margin of 93 to 5 in the U.S. Senate and 347 to 37 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"The Act which is U.S. Law stated:

(1)    Jerusalem should remain an undivided city.
(2)    Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the state of Israel.'

It also stated

(1) Each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital.
(2) Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel.
(3) The city of Jerusalem is the seat of Israel's President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the site of numerous government ministries and social and cultural institutions.
(4) The city of Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Judaism, and is also considered a holy city by the members of other religious faiths.
(5) From 1948-1967, Jerusalem was a divided city and Israeli citizens of all faiths as well as Jewish citizens of all states  were denied access to holy sites in the area controlled by Jordan.
(6) In 1967, the city of Jerusalem was reunited during the conflict known as the Six Day War.
(7) Since 1967, Jerusalem has been a united city administered by Israel, and persons of all religious faiths have been guaranteed full access to holy sites within the city.
(8) This year marks the 28th consecutive year that Jerusalem has been administered as a unified city in which the rights of all faiths have been respected and protected.
(9) In 1990, the Congress unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 106, which declares that the Congress ``strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city."
(10) In 1992, the United States Senate and House of  Representatives unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 113 of the One Hundred Second Congress to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, and reaffirming congressional sentiment that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "It took only a few months to confirm that Secretary of State Clinton bears little resemblance to Senator Clinton on Israel issues and was apparently misrepresenting her true views and beliefs on Israel to her New York constituents. From having once loudly proclaimed support for an undivided Jerusalem, upon becoming Secretary of State, suddenly, parts of an "undivided Jerusalem" became places where Jews may not move or build, even though Jews were a majority in eastern Jerusalem from the mid-1800s until 1948, when Jordan forced Jewish residents to flee, and are now a majority once again.  Her recent harsh words of condemnation - a term used in diplomacy normally only to describe the most heinous acts committed by a non-democratic regime, confirms that Secretary Clinton did not believe what she said about Jerusalem when she was Senator Clinton.

"Preventing Jews, because they are Jews, from moving into or developing their communities in Jerusalem is a racist and even apartheid American and Palestinian Arab policy which aims to weaken Israel's claim to Jerusalem an is a first step towards dividing the city.  This is a policy one would never have expected Secretary Clinton to support in view of her previous unequivocal statements, as U.S. Senator from New York, of support for a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.

"Secretary Clinton owes her New York Jewish and pro-Israel constituents a public apology," the ZOA said.