Secretary of State Clinton, in a sharp departure from her stance when she was a senator, is warning that any American action, even symbolically, toward recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel must be avoided for the reason that it would jeopardize the peace process.
Her warnings were issued in a brief she has just filed with the Supreme Court — in which she is arguing that a law she voted for when she was Senator is unconstitutional because it could require the U.S. government to give to an American citizen born at Jerusalem papers showing the birthplace as Israel.
The law requiring the government to issue such documents on request passed the Senate unanimously at a time when Mrs. Clinton was a member. But Presidents Bush and Obama have taken the position that the law infringes on the president’s prerogatives in respect of foreign policy.
(Obama now siding with Arab Jihadists, using the State Department to implement his bias).
Mrs. Clinton is being sued by an American youngster, Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born at Jerusalem in 2002 to American parents who want his birthplace to be listed on his passport as Israel.
In addition to citing the peace process as the excuse for not issuing the birth document the Congress wants issued, Mrs. Clinton’s brief adds a new twist to the story of the White House photos first disclosed last month by the New York Sun. The story involved the discovery that even while the White House was fretting over the requirement to list Jerusalem, Israel, as Master Zivotofsky’s birthplace, the White House’s own website was featuring a series of pictures from Vice President Biden’s 2010 trip to the Jewish state and identifying the pictures as showing him at “Jerusalem, Israel.” The Sun queried whether the Zivotofsky case really rose to constitutional proportions, since the White House on its own website treated Jerusalem as being in Israel.
Five days later, the White House removed “Israel” from each of the Biden pictures, without announcing the deletion. The State Department also quietly deleted “Israel” from references to “Jerusalem, Israel” on numerous official documents on its own website, dating from the Bush administration.
Mrs. Clinton’s brief alleges that any American action that “symbolically or concretely” signals it recognizes Jerusalem being in Israel would “critically compromise the ability of the United States to work with Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region to further the peace process.” The brief contends that American policy is to remain neutral over all sovereignty issues, leaving them to negotiations, and that the U.S. thus “does not recognize Palestinian claims to current sovereignty” in the West Bank or Gaza either.
It is that latter statement that requires further revision to the Biden photos on the White House website. Two of the photos from Biden’s trip show him meeting with Palestinian officials in the “Palestinian Territories.”
The proper reference is to “territories” – the word used in U.N. Resolution 242, the foundational document of the “peace process,” which did not affix the adjective “Jordanian” or “Arab” or “Palestinian” to the territories, nor require that “all of the” territories be relinquished by Israel, but rather left an unspecified portion to be traded for a defensible peace. America has never assigned that land to the “Palestinians” and maintains that only negotiations can create Palestinian sovereignty there.
So far, Israel has made three offers of a Palestinian state, and the Palestinians rejected all three. They currently refuse to negotiate a fourth, unless Israel concedes the 1949 armistice lines as the basis of a Palestinian state before negotiations begin — while rejecting on their own part any recognition of a Jewish state, defensible borders, or an “end of claims” agreement.
If an adjective is necessary, the term Israel uses is “disputed territories.” Palestine was designated by the League of Nations in 1922 as the national home of the Jewish people. In response to Arab opposition, Britain’s Peel Commission in 1937 proposed two states, which the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected. In 1947, the Arabs rejected the UN two-state proposal, and Jordan illegally occupied a portion of Palestine in the ensuing war that the Arabs commenced.
That occupation ended in 1967, when Jordan joined a new war against Israel and lost the land it unlawfully held. The UN thereafter adopted Resolution 242 as the basis for peace, under which any Israeli withdrawal, and the extent thereof, is subject to the establishment of “secure and recognized boundaries.” Hence it is a contradiction of the neutrality principle asserted in the Clinton brief for the adjective “Palestinian” to be affixed to the territories prior to a negotiated agreement.
If the Obama administration believes in the neutrality principle it is asserting in the Supreme Court — and that the mere mention of “Jerusalem, Israel” on its website, or putting “Israel” on an individual’s passport, would violate that principle – the question will arise as to whether it will also scrub also the references to the “Palestinian” territories.
If it does not treat both situations the same, the Supreme Court may legitimately question whether the Clinton brief is asserting the true reason for the administration’s adamant opposition to the designation of “Israel” in the passport of Master Zivotofsky.