Daniel Pipes: White House Mischief

Human Events Online The White House engaged in two puerile and quickly-exposed gambits last week that exposed the Obama administration's amateurish and deceitful Middle East-Islamic policies in a painfully obvious manner.

The first case concerned the thorny issue of Jerusalem's legal status in American law. In 1947, the United Nations ruled the holy city to be a corpus separatum (Latin for separated body) and not part of any state. All these years later and despite many changes, U.S. policy continues to hold this to be Jerusalem's status. It ignores that the Government of Israel declared western Jerusalem to be its capital in 1950 and the whole of Jerusalem in 1980. The Executive Branch even ignores that U.S. laws from 1995 (requiring a move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem) and 2002 (requiring that U.S. documents recognize Americans born in Jerusalem to be born in Israel). Instead, it insists that the city's disposition must be decided through diplomacy.

Challenging this policy, the American parents of Jerusalem-born Menachem Zivotofsky, demanded on his behalf that his birth certificate and his passport list him as born in Israel. When the State Department refused, the parents filed a lawsuit; their case has now reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

Things started to get interesting on Aug. 4, when Rick Richman of the New York Sun noted that "The White House acknowledges on its own website that Jerusalem is in Israel—as does the State Department and the CIA on theirs," undermining the government's case. Richman pointed to three mentions of "Jerusalem, Israel" in captions to pictures on the White House website in connection with a trip by Joe Biden in March 2010: "Vice President Joe Biden laughs with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, Israel"; "Vice President Joe Biden meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Israel"; and "Vice President Joe Biden has breakfast with Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair . . . in Jerusalem, Israel." Richman deemed this wording to be potentially "pivotal evidence" against the government's case. Read More: