President Obama’s opposition to Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem and the strategic West Bank was slammed as “racist” this week by approximately 2,000 Israelis who rallied in front of the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem.
“George Mitchell go home!” yelled protestors in front of the U.S. government building. Mitchell, Obama’s envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was in the region discussing the American administration’s call for a halt to all construction in Jewish settlements, including building to accommodate natural growth or the needs of existing Jewish populations in the areas in question.
Speaking at the rally, Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, who heads the Nir Torah seminary in the West Bank city of Kiryat Arba, called Obama a “racist.”
“How dare he tell the Jews where they can or can’t live! The era when Jews were banned from living in different places has ended,” Waldman exclaimed.
“Obama beware. This insolence will bring about the downfall of the American leadership. Anyone who dares give an order to prevent Israeli life in Jerusalem or anywhere else in the land of Israel is destined to fall,” he said.
Last week the State Department summoned Israel’s ambassador to Washington, demanding that a Jewish construction project in eastern Jerusalem be immediately halted.
Jewish Leaders: ‘Obama Misled Us’
American Jewish leaders are up in arms over recent U.S condemnations of Jewish construction in Jerusalem, pointing out that during the presidential campaign President Obama repeatedly told Jewish audiences that Jerusalem must remain undivided.
“I believe that on the issue of Jerusalem and the issue of Iran Obama intentionally misled both Jewish and Christian supporters of Israel,” Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, told WorldNetDaily.
“He said as a candidate in 2008 that he supports an undivided Jerusalem and will never permit Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, and now we see that these claims were simply false,” said Klein.
Pesach Lerner, executive vice president of the National Council of Young Israel, stated, “The Jewish community, in fact, the American community, has the right to expect that what they are told before an election will be what is acted upon after an election.
“Add to this the rights of a sovereign country, an ally, the only democratic state in the Middle East – and we find it very disturbing that the current U.S. administration is dictating to the state of Israel where it can and cannot build in Jerusalem,” Lerner said.
During last year’s presidential campaign, Obama told Jewish audiences on numerous occasions that he supports an undivided Jerusalem.
In June 2008, Obama delivered a major speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in which he stated that if elected “Jerusalem would remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.”
However, immediately following the AIPAC speech, Obama flip-flopped during a CNN appearance, explaining he meant Jerusalem shouldn’t be physically divided with a partition.
Fatah Tries To Block Jewish Occupancy
Of Jerusalem Home
Last week Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party worked in an official capacity to block an attempt by Jews to move into a home in Jerusalem.
“We are permitted to resist any existing illegal settlement activity whether it’s in Jerusalem or anywhere else,” Dmitri Ziliani, a spokesman for the Jerusalem section of Fatah, told this column.
According to Israeli law, however, the PA cannot officially act in Jerusalem.
Last Tuesday, Ziliani and about a dozen Fatah activists, including PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Hatem Abdul Qader, holed themselves up inside a home in the Sheik Jarra neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem to block an attempt by Jews to move into the house.
The home was originally Jewish, but its occupants were chased out during countrywide anti-Jewish Arab riots in 1929. Arabs then squatted on the property, and until recently the Hejazi family was living in the house.
Jewish groups say they legally purchased the property from the Hejazi family but that following Fatah pressure the family denied selling it to Jews despite documentation and even video evidence of the sale.
Last week’s demonstration took place just days after the U.S. protested a legal Jewish construction project in Jerusalem.
The Palestinians claim eastern sections of Jerusalem as their future capital.
Fatah Official Takes Hardline Position
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party will not recognize Israel’s existence and reserves the right to “resistance” against the Jewish state, a top Fatah official declared.
“In our internal constitution, we as a party don’t recognize Israel and nobody asked us to recognize Israel,” declared Fatah strongman Mahmoud Dahlan in an interview today with PA television. “There won’t be a change during our congress next month in this position, but we understand the Palestinian government must respect international agreements.”
He added: “Military resistance against occupation is a right guaranteed to us by international law. Only the Fatah leadership can decide when to use this tool or not.”
Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “The Late Great State of Israel.” Follow Klein on Twitter under the name “AaronKleinWND.”