Watchwoman on the Wall

Posted on August 10, 2011 at 10:54am by Billy Hallowell

On Tuesday, The Weekly Standard’s deputy online editor, Daniel Halper, made a noteworthy charge against the White House.

Following an article in which he discussed the ongoing debate over which country the U.S. believes Jerusalem is in (hint: It’s not Israel), Halper claims that the White House “cleansed” its site of references to the city being definitively tied to the Jewish homeland.Let’s start with a recent State Department press release, highlighting the United States’ official stance on Jerusalem (Halper cites this as well):

QUESTION: What is the State Department’s position regarding American persons born in Jerusalem who wish to have passports issued that indicate their place of birth as Israel?

ANSWER: Current U.S. Government policy is that U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem may not have “Israel” listed in their passports as their place of birth. See the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Manual 7 FAM 1300 Appendix D for further details.

Appendix D reads:

As a result of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Government of Israel currently occupies and administers the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.  U.S. policy recognizes that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory, and that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.

While the U.S. is clearly undecided on the issue, Halper highlights a photograph on the White House web site that, until last evening, allegedly had a caption that included “Jerusalem, Israel” (i.e. admitting that Jerusalem is a part of Israel). Following Halper’s article, the image’s caption (by his account) changed. Here’s the original image (notice the reference to Jerusalem, Israel):

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