Journalists from the Jerusalem Post actually expected Republican presidential candidate, Senator John McCain to know exactly where and in what areas East Jerusalem and the West Bank overlap (in the Palestinian view, which is shared by many UN member states).
At least McCain was honest enough to admit he did not know: “On some matters of detail – such as whether he distinguished between Israeli building in east Jerusalem and in the settlements – McCain paused, cast a ‘help me out here’ glance in (Senator Joe) Lieberman’s direction, and then – very straightforwardly – said he ‘really didn’t have a good response to that question’.”
israeli journalists also expected U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to be able to pronounce on the exact status of Gilo, or Har Homa.
She just got irritated and huffy, and impatiently brushed off the question.
They can’t believe that important figures, who are taking positions that would affect their destiny, would not know exactly everything about every single area in and around “Greater Jerusalem”.
Around the time of the Annapolis Conference, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and some of his senior colleagues explained that — for them — anything that is part of the “Greater Jerusalem” that they unilaterally declared after their victory in the June 1967 war is not covered by the Roadmap obligations against settlement expansion.
BTW, McCain also said: “I also understand that there are some isolated settlements that will also be closed down. That’s a tough decision for the [Israeli] government. I’ve seen the film when they go in and remove people from settlements, and it is a democracy. My job is not to make a decision as to whether the settlements should be expanded or not, but rather my job, I think, is to try to create conditions that would lead to negotiations and a settlement grounded on the belief that it is not just [about] my commitment to the state of Israel. If Hamas/Hizbullah succeeds here, they are going to succeed everywhere, not only in the Middle East, but everywhere, and Israel is not the only enemy. They are dedicated to the extinction of everything that the US, Israel and the West believes and stands for. So America does have an interest in what happens here, far above and beyond our alliance with the state of Israel”…
Here is a fuller excerpt from the JPOST interview:
“Question: Do you see a distinction between Israel building in new neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, and building in the settlements?
McCain [Long pause]: I really don’t have a good response to that question. I really think that we should understand that the US and Israel are partners. Israel is not a client of the United States of America, they don’t do our bidding, they have a freely elected government, and that government functions sometimes haltingly; so does ours, by the way. In case you haven’t noticed, we haven’t passed a budget yet, and the Iraqis have! Some people say, too often, ‘We should tell the Israelis what to do’. But we are partners. And if you are true partners, then you don’t dictate what you think the terms of the survival of a nation should be. Doesn’t saying something like that, which is very forthright and will be very welcome in Israel, complicate your potential of being accepted as an honest partner for the Palestinians? I hope not, because I would be more than happy to treat Fatah as a partner as well, if they were committed to a process that resulted in peace. We all agree there [needs to be] a two-state solution. If there were a two-state solution and peace – which has far-reaching effects not only in the Middle East, but in the entire world – then I would be eager to have the United States and a Palestinian state as partners. But a little straight talk: we do have a unique relationship [with Israel]. We have a unique relationship with the British; that doesn’t mean we can’t be partners with the French or anybody else. We have a unique relationship between the United States and Israel, but that doesn’t mean we would discriminate against a Palestinian state if it were created, and Israel and the US are committed long-term to a two-state solution”.
The full McCain interview in the JPost can be seen here .