The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly criticized the Obama Administration for promoting the racist, anti-Semitic position that no more Jews should be allowed to move into eastern Jerusalem. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the demolition of part of Jerusalems Shepherd Hotel, the former residence of the wartime Nazi collaborator Palestinian leader, Haj Amin el Husseini, legally purchased by an American Jew and upon which the apartments are to be built, in these terms: We are very concerned about the initiation of demolition of the Shepherds Hotel in East Jerusalem. This disturbing development undermines peace efforts to achieve the two state-solution. In particular, this move contradicts the logic of a reasonable and necessary agreement between the parties on the status of Jerusalem (Clinton Press statement, Demolition of the Shepherds Hotel, January 9, 2011).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, The Obama Administration deserves strong criticism for this position opposing the first preparatory steps of demolition of the Shepherd Hotel ahead of a legal and municipally-approved construction program for 20 homes on this site in eastern Jerusalem.
Secretary Clintons criticism promotes the anti-Semitic policy to institute racist zoning laws that perversely prohibit Jews and only Jews from living in certain neighborhoods of Israels religious, legal and historical capital, Jerusalem. The Obama/Clinton policy essentially requires Israel to ask of persons seeking to move into an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood whether or not they are Jewish and if they answer Yes I am a Jew, Israel is to prohibit them from doing so and tell them they are unwelcome. This policy is even more shocking because it is being promoted by Americas first African-American president.
Such laws and practices would not be tolerated here in the United States and they have no place in Jerusalem, irrespective of any future peace arrangements.
The ZOA also notes that the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, was quoted as claiming that Israel continues to change the landscape of Jerusalem, aiming to change its status and turn it into an exclusive Jewish city. Not only is this nonsense Jews and Arabs alike are free under Israeli law to build and own apartments anywhere in Jerusalem an do so all the time, but Erakat has his addresses mixed he must be thinking of Bethlehem, under Palestinian Authority control since the mid-1990s, during which time most of its historic Christian community has fled, turning it into virtually a Muslim-only city.
On this genuine persecution and gradual ethnic cleansing of a Palestinian city, the Obama Administration is characteristically silent. The ZOA strongly criticizes the Obama Administrations position and strongly urges it to cease advocating racist, exclusionary zoning policies that, rightly, it would not tolerate anywhere in America.