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Obama slammed as 'racist' at Jerusalem rally

Posted By Aaron Klein On 07/27/2009 @ 3:55 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled


Rally at U.S. consulate in Jerusalem last night (WND photo)

JERUSALEM – President Obama’s policies against Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem and the strategic West Bank were slammed as “racist” today by participants in a rally drawing about 2,000 Israelis in front of the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem.

“George Mitchell go home!” yelled protesters in front of the U.S. government building.

Mitchell, Obama’s envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is here discussing the American administration’s call for a halt to all Jewish settlement activity, including natural growth or accommodating the needs of existing Jewish populations in the areas in question.

The protest began in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence. Marchers then made their way to the U.S. consulate about one block away.

“Obama should not be pressing Israel to compromise and freeze building in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem,” protest organizer Yaacov Steinberg told WND.

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“All these steps in the past just brought more Palestinian terror and showed Israeli weakness,” said Steinberg, director of a coalition of West Bank Jewish organizations.

Speaking at the rally, Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, who heads the prestigious “Nir” Torah seminary in the West Bank city of Kiryat Arba, called Obama a “racist.”

“How dare he tell the Jews where they can or can’t live! The era when Jews were banned from living in different places has ended,” Waldman exclaimed.


Rally at U.S. consulate in Jerusalem last night (WND photo)

“Obama beware. This insolence will bring about the downfall of the American leadership. Anyone who dares give an order to prevent Israeli life in Jerusalem or anywhere else in the land of Israel is destined to fall,” he said.

Pinchas Wallerstein, director of the Yesha council of Jewish communities in the West Bank, told the crowds, “This week the American pressure reached new highs that are a shame to democratic societies.”

Wallerstein was referring to the summoning of Israel’s ambassador to Washington last week by the State Department to demand a Jewish construction project in eastern Jerusalem be immediately halted.

“It’s absolutely an outrageously racist policy,” Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, told WND. “Especially in light of how Obama should be sensitive when it comes to anything that would remotely constitute discrimination of people based on ethnicity or religion.”


Rally at U.S. consulate in Jerusalem last night (WND photo)

The construction project at the center of attention, financed by Miami Beach philanthropist Irving Moskowitz, is located just meters from Israel’s national police headquarters and other government ministries. It is a few blocks from the country’s prestigious Hebrew University, underscoring the centrality of the Jewish real estate being condemned by the U.S.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly rejected the State Department demand, telling a cabinet meeting Sunday that Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem was not a matter up for discussion.

“Imagine what would happen if someone were to suggest Jews could not live in or purchase [property] in certain neighborhoods in London, New York, Paris or Rome,” he said.

“The international community would certainly raise protest. Likewise, we cannot accept such a ruling on East Jerusalem,” Netanyahu told ministers.


Rally at U.S. consulate in Jerusalem last night (WND photo)

In a statement released to WND, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, long considered one of the most powerful Jewish groups in the U.S., took strong issue with the U.S. demand against Jewish construction in Jerusalem.

“We find disturbing the objections raised to the proposed construction of residential units on property that was legally purchased and approved by the appropriate authorities. The area in question houses major Israeli governmental agencies, including the national police headquarters.”

“The U.S. has in the past and recently raised objections to the removal of illegal structures built by Arabs in eastern Jerusalem even though they were built in violation of zoning and other requirements often on usurped land,” read the statement.

The group’s statement pointed out Moskowitz’s housing project formerly was the house of the infamous mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who spent the war years in Berlin as a close ally of Adolf Hitler, aiding and abetting the Nazi extermination of Jews.

Al-Husseini was also linked to the 1929 massacre of Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron and to other acts of incitement that resulted in death and destruction in what was then called Palestine. Some Palestinians have expressed a desire to preserve the building as a tribute to Husseini.

Historically, there was never any separation between eastern and western Jerusalem. The terminology came after Jordan occupied the eastern section of the city, including the Temple Mount, from 1947 until it used the territory to attack the Jewish state in 1967. Israel reunited Jerusalem when it won the 1967 Six Day War.


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