Last week President Obama spoke at Shimon Peres’ funeral and watched him buried--in some sort of No Man’s Land. Not in Israel, it seems.
The Obama White House actually issued a correction of its press release of Obama’s remarks, to strike the world "Israel." You can see a screen shot of the corrected release here at the McClatchy news site.
The absurdity of this move is striking. The ceremony was at Mount Herzl, the Jerusalem cemetery where many of Israel’s greatest figures are buried: Herzl himself, Jabotinsky, Begin, Golda Meir, Rabin, and innumerable military heroes.
It lies in Western Jerusalem, near Yad Vashem and Jerusalem Forest--a place Palestinians do not even claim when they claim a share of Jerusalem; only those who seek to destroy Israel think this place will ever be anything but a part of the Jewish State. U.S. policy is that Jerusalem is a final status issue, so we have our embassy in Tel Aviv. But there is no dispute about west Jerusalem, where the Knesset, Prime Minister’s office, and Supreme Court, and the National Library, and Yad Vashem--and Mount Herzl--all lie.
One wonders if President Obama, speaking about the meaning of Peres’s life for Israel, actually thought as he spoke those words at the grave site that he was not standing in Israel, and that Shimon Peres was not being buried in Israel. I doubt it. Which suggests, again, how foolish the current and longstanding American policy really is.