Dore Gold challenges Rice with history

In an address primarily devoted to the future of Jerusalem, Gold argued that controversial areas of the capital, such as Har Homa, legitimately belong to Israel and recalled that the Clinton Administration twice vetoed UN Security Council condemnations of Israeli construction there. “When the US couldn’t openly support our position on Jerusalem, they quietly accepted it,” he said.

Moreover, said Gold, the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 reaffirmed Israel’s right to a united Jerusalem. He added that the act, in which the US Senate and House of Representatives overwhelmingly called to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, had the support of people who today hold key positions in Congress or are running for president. Therefore, he said, it was difficult for him to accept that “our best friends want us to divide Jerusalem.”

On the home front, he reminded his audience that the late Yitzhak Rabin, at the height of the Oslo process, spoke of keeping Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty. “This was the heart of US-Israeli consensus,” Gold said.

The former ambassador also drew on UN Resolution 242 to show that the Americans never intended for Israel to re-divide Jerusalem. The resolution, drafted by the US and British ambassadors and accepted unanimously by the Security Council on November 22, 1967, calls for “withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” The words all and the are not included in the clause regarding territorial withdrawals, noted Gold, who added that this had been the specific intention of then-US president Lyndon Johnson.

Furthermore, said Gold, this was confirmed in a 1980 letter to The New York Times by Arthur Goldberg, the US ambassador to the UN who co-drafted the resolution. He also stated that Jerusalem was omitted from the withdrawal clause and that this, too, had been intentional.

January 9, 2008 | Comments »

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