White House press secretary Jim Carney refused to publicly name the capital of Israel yesterday. All he was willing to say when asked repeatedly is that the White House position on Israel’s capital hasn’t changed.
You can watch the video and read the transcript here.
This is all really quite silly.
It’s a fact—not an opinion—that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Anyone who insists otherwise is in denial. You may wish Tel Aviv was its capital. You may even wish a united Al Quds was the capital of the Arab state of Palestine. But those things can only be true in an alternate universe or in the future. In this universe, in 2012, Israel exists and Jerusalem is its capital.
Only one of Israel’s national government buildings—the ministry of defense—is in Tel Aviv. All the others are in Jerusalem. And all of them are on the western side of the city inside the internationally recognized borders. The only people who dispute Israel’s right to exist in west Jerusalem are those who dispute Israel’s right to exist anywhere.
I can understand why Carney sighed when he first heard the question and preferred not to answer. He doesn’t want Arab governments to have a conniption fit.
The problem, though, is that he is enabling delusional rejectionists. It’s always easier in the short run to let self-destructive beliefs and behavior go unchecked, but it always makes the problem worse in the long run.