Through The Static

June 7, 2008

Arabs shocked by Obama speech

Filed under: Government,Politics,World News — disciplepete @ 11:08 am

Lotsa Arab leaders in the Middle East were miffed by Barackstar’s speech to American pro-Israel lobby AIPAC earlier this week. Barack disappointed many Arabs who felt that he might represent a change in U.S. policy. Take it away, Al:

Obama told the influential annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Council (Aipac): “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.”

His comments appalled Palestinians who see occupied East Jerusalem as part of a future Palestinian state.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, told Al Jazeera on Thursday: “This is the worst thing to happen to us since 1967 … he has given ammunition to extremists across the region”…

…”I say to Obama … please stop being more Israeli than the Israelis themselves, leave the Israelis and Palestinians alone to make decisions required for peace.”…

The ancient city of Jerusalem is divided into East and West. Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and unilaterally annexed it, in a move condemned by the United Nations as illegal.

Jerusalem’s status as part of Israel is not internationally recognised and remains a central issue in peace negotiations.

Obama did try to soften his stance afterwards:

But he later told CNN, the US broadcast network, that the Israelis and Palestinians had to negotiate over the future of the city.

“Well, obviously, it’s going to be up to the parties to negotiate a range of these issues. And Jerusalem will be part of those negotiations,” Obama said on Thursday.

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