Israel's friends silent on Jerusalem

May 17, 1999

"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its cunning."

Sidney Zion

GREAT, but what about the lefties?

The right hand don't mean a thing to the White House, to the European Union, to the United Nations, even unto the Jews of Peace Now in Israel and America. All the cunning is on the left, where the biblical injunction has no swing.

The game is afoot for Jerusalem, and after the Israeli elections today, look for enormous pressure on the Jewish state to cede sovereignty over part of its capital to the Palestinians. Ehud Barak is running substantially ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the polls, but even if he wins without a run-off, Jerusalem will remain as the final solution to the peace process.

Both men promise to keep Jerusalem united and under Israeli control. This reflects a virtually unanimous consensus of Israeli opinion. For sure, no candidate for prime minister can win without guaranteeing a Jewish Jerusalem.

A fight ahead

Whoever wins will have to fight off the forces that want to divide Jerusalem between Arabs and Jews -- indeed, forces that refuse to recognize Israeli sovereignty over West Jerusalem.

It may surprise you to know that the United States to this day does not recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel. No, not any part of Jerusalem.

The United States has refused to place its embassy in Jerusalem. Israel is the only country that is not permitted to designate its own capital.

Maybe you knew this, but did you know that a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem cannot get a U.S. passport that states his or her place of birth as Israel?

The U.S. State Department's passport office will only grant "Jerusalem" as place of birth, as if Jerusalem is a separate state. This outrageous insult to Israel goes unnoticed by most of the politicians who claim friendship with Israel.

Worse yet is the Clinton administration's refusal to abide by the congressional statute that requires it to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

In 1995, Congress, by a nearly unanimous vote, required this move. But an out was given to President Clinton -- he could waive the deal if he said that it harmed the security of the United States.

The word out of the White House is that Mr. Clinton will take this option -- a lie that makes his Monica Lewinsky denial look like truth itself.

The European Union this month declared that Jerusalem is an international city, outside Israel's control. America's was the lone vote against that, but we have heard no attack from the White House, just the vote.

Plus, the European Union endorsed Yasser Arafat's claim that the 1947 United Nations resolution is intact -- the one that would give most of today's Israel to Palestine.

Forgotten is the fact that back then the Arabs rejected this deal and went to war to destroy the Jews.

U.S. silence

If anything were ever defunct, it's the U.N. resolution of 1947, called 181. But Mr. Arafat has the chutzpah to raise it again, and the United States and the United Nations make no objection.

It won't happen. No Israeli government would buy this suicide. The fact that it is even a subject for discussion is a sick joke. U.N. Resolution 181 would not only turn over all of Jerusalem to the Arabs, but it also would give them the Negev and Jaffa.

But where's the outrage? Where's Mr. Clinton, where's Al Gore? Where are the Republicans? Where, indeed, is the Jewish establishment?

God help the right hand when the left hand is free.

Sidney Zion is a columnist for the New York Daily News.

Pub Date: 5/17/99

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.