Jewish-American Organizations Condemn Obama & State Department

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), one of the largest and oldest Jewish organizations in the U.S. condemned President Obama & The State Department to stop referring to Eastern Jerusalem as “Palestinian Territories”. The: ZOA wants an error in a U.S. State Dept. press release identifying East Jerusalem as part of the “Palestinian Territories” corrected immediately on the State: Department’s Web site, and assurances that the error does not recur.

Ronn Torossian

Many Jewish & Christian leaders, including: Ron Hershco: of the Ron Hershco Foundation and: Jay Sekulow: have previously spoken out on this issue.

ZOA has written to the State Department urging them to stop referring to eastern Jerusalem as “Palestinian Territories.” Eastern Jerusalem is actually the eastern half of the city of Jerusalem, including the ancient Jewish section populated by over 200,000 Jews, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest sites. The ZOA has described this usage as factually and legally inaccurate, politically biased and prejudicial to the prospect of genuine peace negotiations.

In a press release this week, the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced several new projects pairing U.S. cultural institutions with foreign ones, including the pairing of the Minnesota Historical Society with the Palestinian Heritage Museum, located in the eastern half of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. The State Department press release stated that the program, ‘Design Diaries International,’ paired the Minnesota Historical Society with the “Palestinian Heritage Museum, East Jerusalem, Palestinian Territories” (‘U.S. Department of State Announces Museums Connect Cultural Exchange 2013 Awardees,’ State Department press release, July 10, 2013).

: ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The designation of eastern Jerusalem as ‘Palestinian territories,’ is: factually and legally: inaccurate, politically biased and prejudicial to the prospect of genuine peace negotiations,: should these: occur one day. There is no Palestinian sovereign controlling eastern Jerusalem, only a Palestinian Authority (PA) controlling half of Judea and Samaria (Gaza is controlled by the terrorist group Hamas).

: ”While many states have recognized the legal fiction of a ‘state of Palestine,’ there is no such state, let alone one that actually holds sovereign power in eastern Jerusalem. In particular, the United States does not recognize such a state and voted accordingly when the admission of ‘Palestine’ as a non-member state of the United Nations was voted upon last November in the United Nations General Assembly. Moreover, the PA is a signatory to the Oslo Agreements in which it committed itself to not altering the political status of the disputed territories, except by a negotiated settlement with Israel.:  We must understand that Jordan illegally annexed eastern Jerusalem in 1948, and only one country recognized it.:  Even the Arab states rejected it.

: ”How ironic that the U.S. government, which criticizes Jews living in or building homes in eastern Jerusalem or in Judea and Samaria because doing so supposedly alters the political status of the territories, actually baldly and falsely declares that eastern Jerusalem is part of ‘Palestinian territories.’: 

: “The State Department’s erroneous public statement about eastern Jerusalem also shows a lack of respect for its ally, the democratically elected government of Israel.:  In 1980, the Israeli Knesset passed a law affirming that a united Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.:  Significantly, the law also affirmed the freedom of religion for all religious faiths in Jerusalem, a freedom that was denied when Jordan occupied eastern Jerusalem.

Jordan desecrated Jewish holy places when it illegally occupied eastern Jerusalem.:  Jordan also destroyed fifty-eight synagogues and 38,000 Jewish cemetery headstones.

”Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people twice in history in the two Jewish commonwealths. It has never been the capital of any other state or people. It is mentioned almost six hundred times in the Hebrew Bible, but not even once in the Muslim Quran. It has been the focal point of Jewish prayers and longing, well symbolized in the line of the Psalmist – ‘If I forget thee, o Jerusalem, may my right hand forget her cunning’ – and the eastern half of the city contains the holiest Jewish sites. Indeed, Jerusalem is one of the four Jewish holy cities. In contrast, Muslims face Mecca, not Jerusalem in prayer and the city possesses only some sites holy to Christianity and Islam, but is not a holy city to these faiths.

: ”Jerusalem is part of the territory earmarked for Jewish settlement in the 1920 San Remo Conference and this determination was subsequently incorporated into the League of Nations Palestine Mandate. It has never been superseded or altered by any subsequent, internationally binding agreement. Under the illegal Jordanian occupation of the eastern half of Jerusalem during 1948-67, it did not become the Jordanian capital (which remained in Amman) and became a repressive backwater in which Christians were not permitted to repair or enlarge churches and had to teach the Quran. Over 50% of: Christians left and Jews were not permitted to enter to pray at Jewish holy sites, contrary to the 1949 armistice agreement.

”The U.S. position has been that these territories are subject: to negotiation. If that is so, it should not be pre-judging the issue and claiming that it belongs to one or another party. The Obama Administration should therefore publicly repudiate the designation of eastern Jerusalem as being located in ‘Palestinian territories’ and correct all: US governmental statements, including this recent press release, that falsely and wrongly states that eastern Jerusalem is part of the ‘Palestinian territories.’”

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR firm and Author of “For Immediate Release”, a leading PR book.

Also see,

Silence Over Persecution & Violence Against Middle Eastern Christians

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