Construction workers are seen on a new housing development in the Jewish neighborhood of Har Homa in East Jerusalem, Dec. 16, 2009.
"Slouching Toward Jerusalem"
Op-Ed, World Policy Blog
December 22, 2009
Author: Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security
On December 8, the State Department issued the following statement: "The U.S. position on Jerusalem is clear and remains unchanged: that Jerusalem and all other permanent status issues must be resolved by the two parties themselves. It has been official U.S. policy for many years that the future status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue...."
Why did the State Department feel compelled to issue such a statement? Apparently, because in Brussels that same day, the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council issued a statement on the Middle East Peace Process, and one can only conclude that the U.S. government wanted to distance itself from the EU memo.
On Jerusalem, the EU statement had this, inter alia, to say: "The Council recalls that it has never recognized the annexation of East Jerusalem. If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states."
An earlier EU draft specifically stated that the Palestinian capital should be in East Jerusalem, but intense Israeli lobbying, including and especially among the new EU members from Eastern Europe, resulted in striking that reference in the final version....
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