White House press secretary: U.S. stance unchanged on Israeli capital

(JTA) — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, responding to a reporter’s question on the capital of Israel, said the Obama’s administration “has not changed.”

The question — “What city does this administration consider to be the capital of Israel, Jerusalem or Tel Aviv?” — came during a news briefing on July 26. 

“I haven’t gotten that question in a while,” Carney responded. “Our position has not changed.”

Pressed for an answer, Carney responded, “You know our position.” He then took another question.

The transcript of the briefing later released to reporters included a statement outlining the White House’s official policy.

“The status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians,” the statement said. “We continue to work with the parties to resolve this issue and others in a way that is just and fair, and respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.”

Mitt Romney’s campaign circulated a statement from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) the next day criticizing Carney’s answers.

“For thousands of years, Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish people, but this administration refuses to say if Jerusalem is the true capital,” Cantor said. “At a moment when Israel is facing so many perils, the United States should be standing by our ally, not quibbling or quarreling about its capital city.”


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