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Obama has No Understanding of Mideast, Says Knesset Speaker:

Speaker Rivlin says Democrat platform's omission of Jerusalem as capital of Israel has "far reaching significance."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/5/2012, 8:55 PM

Rivlin (left) with Terzi
Rivlin (left) with Terzi
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin criticized on Wednesday the removal of a section declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel from the Democratic Party platform, and said: "I'm less worried about the U.S.-Israel relations regarding Iran, and more concerned about President Obama's withdrawal from the principle that Jerusalem is Israel's capital."

The omission "has far-reaching significance, which reflect a complete lack of understanding by the Obama administration about the roots of the conflict and the events in the Middle East," said Rivlin, in an unusually blunt statement for a senior Israeli political figure during a U.S. election season.

"In my opinion, it is shameful that the Democratic Party renounced its commitment to the principle of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Anyone who thinks that the division of Jerusalem will bring peace in the Middle East is badly mistaken. Division of sovereignty in Jerusalem is a recipe for continued conflict and instability in the region," he said, as he welcomed Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi in Jerusalem.

Rivlin strongly condemned the vandalism at the Latrun monastery and called for "an all-out war" against the phenomenon.