The Spectacle Blog

Obama Denies Backtracking on ‘Undivided’ Jerusalem

By on 7.22.08 | 8:22PM

Another interesting take from Katie Couric's interview with Barack Obama:

Couric: You said not too long ago that Jerusalem should remain undivided. And then you backtracked on that statement. Does that play into the argument that some believe that someone more experienced would not have made that kind of mistake?
Obama: Well…if you look at what happened, there was no shift in policy or backtracking in policy. We just had phrased it poorly in the speech. That has happened and will happen to every politician. You're not always gonna hit your mark in terms of how you phrase your policies. But my policy hasn't changed, and it's been very consistent. It's the same policy that Bill Clinton has put forward, and that says that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel, that we shouldn't divide it by barbed wire, but that, ultimately that is … a final status issue that has to be resolved between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
Unlike her exchange with Obama about the "surge," Couric didn't ask any badgering follow-ups on this point. Obama's "phrased it poorly" explanation seems rather convenient. It was in a speech to AIPAC that Obama drew cheers for endorsing an undivided Jerusalem as Israel's capital. And it was only after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he "totally rejected" Obama's statement that the candidate "backtracked" (to quote The Washington Post) in a CNN interview.

So, when speaking to an audience of pro-Israel Jews, Obama is staunchly pro-Israel, but then when the Palestinians complain, it's another one of those "under the bus" moments for which the Democrat has become notorious.

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