More on Jerusalem: Peace Now weighs in on Sec. Clinton’s comments

Monday, March 9th, 2009

James Besser in Washington

Earlier today the Political Insider cited the Orthodox Union’s anger at Ehud Olmert for suggesting Jerusalem must be divided as part of any peace agreement with the Palestinians, and about the silence of pro-peace process groups in response to the outgoing Prime Minister’s words.

But that doesn’t mean the doves are in hiding. Today Americans for Peace Now weighed in on a related topic: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem is “unhelpful and not in keeping with the obligations entered into under the road map.”

Not surprisingly, APN supported Clinton’s comments.

Such actions “demolish not only brick-and-mortar structures but also the prospects for peace,” the group’s leaders said in a letter to the sectretary, “and deepen Palestinian fears about Israel’s intentions to expand Jewish enclaves in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods and to expand settlements around the city.”

Additional demolitions in Jerusalem also “undermine moderate Palestinian leaders like President Mahmoud Abbas while strengthening extremists.”

APN called on the Obama administration to “draw unmistakable red lines with respect to Jerusalem, making clear that the U.S. considers any actions that undermine the peace process – including demolitions, expansion of settlements and settler enclaves, and controversial development of the Old City’s historic basin – unacceptable.”

With all the talk about Jerusalem, you’d think there was an active peace process going on.

There isn’t, but both sides in the debate over the best route to Israeli-Palestinian peace understand that if Israel and the Palestinians do find a way to break the impasse, they will still have to get past the huge obstacle of Jerusalem’s status.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.