Rivlin: Obama doesn't understand the Mideast

Knesset speaker says Democrats' removal of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a bigger problem than Iran.

Rivlin 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Rivlin 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
US President Barack Obama’s administration does not understand the realities of the Middle East, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said on Wednesday.
“The fact that the Democrats removed a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from their platform is more worrying than the argument over Iran,” Rivlin told The Jerusalem Post.
“The change may have farreaching consequences,” he said.
According to Rivlin, anyone who thinks that dividing Jerusalem will bring peace is mistaken, and does not understand the Middle East.
“A united Jerusalem will help bring peace and stability,” he said.
The Knesset speaker added that “rumors of a rift between Israel and the US are wrong,” and that the two countries have a “sharp, unambiguous understanding” on Iran, whose nuclear ambitions threaten not only Israel, but the whole free world.
Later Wednesday, Rivlin discussed the Iranian threat with Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, saying that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not acting to provoke the United States, but is moved by analyzing the many times in history when people called to destroy Israel and the Jewish people.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat dismissed the political argument altogether.
“The fact that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel is not a subject for debate, and its status is not affected by foreign political platforms or elections,” he said.
MK Uri Ariel (National Union), chairman of the Knesset Caucus for Jerusalem, said that “finally, Obama’s true face is revealed.”
According to Ariel, Obama previously acted against Jerusalem via surrogates and messengers, but now his actions show his intentions.
“We must not worry. With or without Obama, Jerusalem will stay united under Israeli sovereignty forever,” the National Union MK added.
The Prime Minister’s Office refrained from commenting on the Democratic Party platform, with one official saying they clearly did not want to be perceived as interfering in the US elections.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.