The US Embassy has excluded Ariel University, located in the West Bank [Samaria – ed.], from the invitation list for President Barack Obama’s speech to Israeli students during his visit next week.
According to student union representatives, the embassy contacted the other seven accredited Israeli universities, all of which are located within the pre-1967 lines, but not the sole Israeli university located in the West Bank.
Ariel University Student Union head Shay Shahaf said he hoped the omission was an error that can be corrected rather than a political statement with respect to their location.
He noted that his school became Israel’s eighth accredited university in December and that there still might be confusion over its students’ status.
Shahaf is being polite. Don’t hold your breath for a correction — this is the State Department that can only mumble when asked what the capital of the state of Israel is.
Which brings us to this:
U.S. President Barack Obama has decided not to address the Knesset during his visit to Israel next week. Senior U.S. officials said that, after long deliberations and discussions, the White House decided that the president will address students from universities in Israel at the ICC (Binyaney Ha’uma) in Jerusalem.
That initial snub did not go unnoticed. The Prime Minister’s Office and a number of Knesset members passed messages to the White House saying they would be much happier if the speech took place in the Knesset. But senior U.S. officials have insisted that Obama decided to deliver his messages directly to the Israeli public, especially the younger generation, not just to politicians in the Knesset.
This is beyond weird. Where else but the Knesset, the seat of the government of Israel, would such an address be appropriate? When Netanyahu came to the US, he spoke in front of Congress, not at, say, Georgetown University.
But you just have to think like a state department official and it becomes clear: the Knesset is the seat of Israel’s government, and the Knesset is located in … Jerusalem! So speaking before the Knesset constitutes de facto recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. That wasn’t hard, was it?
The message sent by these and numerous other incidents is that the US does not recognize Israel as a sovereign state, a state with the power to accredit universities, and to declare that the city which has been the seat of government for the 65 years since its founding is in fact its legitimate capital.
The case of the abused wife with a rich husband who gives her everything she wants except her autonomy is a cliché of fiction, but certainly exists in real life.
When does the Unbreakable Bond become an abusive relationship?