Last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney evaded a direct answer on which city the U.S. recognizes as the capital of Israel.
Connie Lawn of IRN USA Radio News asked Carney whether it was Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
It should have been an easy answer, as a law adopted by Congress in 1995 states that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem. But Carney dodged, jumped and posed in order to avoid stating Jerusalem is the capital.
Lawn tells WND why she asked the question in the first place and what a real answer to the question would have revealed.
“The U.S. embassy conducts its business in Tel Aviv in Hebrew and English, but I’ve been told the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem conducts its business in Arabic and English.” Lawn told WND.
The White House included a little asterisk with the transcript of the exchange with Lawn to explain “The status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.”
“It is a very politically charged question,” said Lawn. “The U.S. should follow the law. If the CIA says the capital of Israel is Jerusalem then why is the Obama administration hesitating on this policy?”
Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House and the second-most senior reporter on the beat, jumped into the fray and backed up Lawn’s questioning of Carney.
The exchange last week went like this:
CARNEY: Yes, Connie.
Q. What city does this administration consider to be the capital of Israel – Jerusalem or Tel Aviv?
CARNEY: I haven’t had that question in a while. Our position has not changed, Connie.
Q. What is the position? What’s the capital?
CARNEY: You know our position.
Q. I don’t.
Q. (Kinsolving joins.) No, no, she doesn’t know. She doesn’t know. That’s why she asked.
CARNEY: She does know –
Q. I don’t.
Q. (Kinsolving) She does not know. She just said she doesn’t know. I don’t know.
CARNEY: We have long – Les, I call on Christi. Go ahead.
Q. Back on the question of gun violence. Why did the president wait? What’s the reason for the venue and the timing of those remarks?
CARNEY: The remarks last night? Well, it was a very appropriate venue – it was the Urban League Conference. He talked about a number of issues, especially the economy, as well as the problem of violence in urban communities.
Q. But those were his most extensive and impassioned remarks, and I just wondered if he’s planning to do that in a more noticeable venue at a more noticeable time.
CARNEY:You mean a speech in front of a vast audience with television cameras is not more noticeable?
Q. Late at night, it was five days later –
CARNEY: Well, we didn’t schedule – we didn’t organize the conference. It was a very appropriate place to have that conversation.
Q. (Kinsolving) Tel Aviv or Jerusalem?
CARNEY: You know the answer.
Q. (Kinsolving) No, I don’t know the answer. We don’t know the answer. Could you just give us an answer? What do you recognize – what does –
CARNEY: Our position hasn’t changed, Lester.
Lawn told WND she will continue to pursue questions about the Obama administration’s policy on Jerusalem.
Listen to the interview with Connie Lawn:
“I just wanted to get to the truth. I’ve changed policy before with some of my questions and I guess this is following suit,” she said.