[Hat tip: commenter “Esther.”]
There once was a candidate named Barack Obama.
He was a breath of fresh air. He promised a lot of things. He promised hope and change.
And he promised this:
That was from a speech that candidate Obama made at AIPAC on June 4, 2008. The transcript can be found here, along with the following background:
The speech comes the day after he secured enough delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination and become the first African-American candidate for president. In these prepared remarks provided by his campaign, Obama tries to allay doubts that some Jewish voters have expressed about his candidacy.
A relevant excerpt, designed to soothe the worries of those Jewish voters:
Let me be clear. Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper — but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.
I have no illusions that this will be easy. It will require difficult decisions on both sides. But Israel is strong enough to achieve peace, if it has partners who are committed to the goal. Most Israelis and Palestinians want peace, and we must strengthen their hand. The United States must be a strong and consistent partner in this process — not to force concessions, but to help committed partners avoid stalemate and the kind of vacuums that are filled by violence. That’s what I commit to do as president of the United States.
[ADDENDUM: The above is relevant because of this quote from Kerry’s speech: “Jerusalem should be the internationally recognized capital of the two states” (Israel and Palestine, in a 2-state solution).
That runs counter to Obama’s 2008 promise and his “commitment,” and represents a statement that appears to be in agreement with the official UN position:
United Nations General Assembly resolution 181, passed on November 29, 1947, provided for the full territorial internationalisation of Jerusalem: “The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations.” This position was restated in the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War in UN General Assembly Resolution 303(IV) of 1949. According to a 1979 report prepared for and under the guidance of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, it would appear that the United Nations has maintained the principle that the legal status of Jerusalem is that of a corpus separatum.
The United Nations General Assembly does not recognize Israel’s proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which is, for example, reflected in the wording of General Assembly Resolution 63/30 of 2009 which states that “any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to cease all such illegal and unilateral measures.”
Although the General Assembly cannot pass legally binding resolutions over international issues, the United Nations Security Council, which has the authority to do so, has passed a total of six Security Council resolutions on Israel on the matter, including UNSC resolution 478 which affirmed that the enactment of the 1980 Basic Jerusalem Law declaring unified Jerusalem as Israel’s “eternal and indivisible” capital, was a violation of international law.]