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Rivlin: Obama doesn’t understand the Mideast

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US President Barack Obama\’s administration does not understand the realities of the Middle East, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Wednesday, amid ongoing speculation of a rift in US-Israel relations.
"The fact that the Democrats removed a united Jerusalem as Israel\’s capital from their platform is more worrying than the argument over Iran," Rivlin told The Jerusalem Post. "The change may have far-reaching consequences."
Published earlier this week, the new Democratic platform speaks of US President Barack Obama’s “unshakable commitment to Israel’s security” and describes the security assistance provided by Obama to Israel. It also emphasizes that “the president has made clear that there will be no lasting peace unless Israel’s security concerns are met” and that “President Obama will continue to press Arab states to reach out to Israel.”
According to Rivlin, anyone who thinks that dividing Jerusalem will bring peace is mistaken, and does not understand the Middle East. "A united Jerusalem will help bring peace and stability," he stated.
The Knesset Speaker added that "rumors of a rift between Israel and the US are wrong," and that the two countries have a "sharp, unambiguous understanding" on Iran, whose nuclear ambitions threaten not only Israel, but the whole free world.
Rivlin plans to discuss the Iranian threat with Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi later Wednesday.
MK Uri Ariel (National Union), chairman of the Knesset Caucus for Jerusalem, said Wednesday that "finally, Obama\’s true face is revealed."
According to Ariel, Obama previously acted against Jerusalem via surrogates and messengers, but now his actions show his intentions. "We must not worry. With or without Obama, Jerusalem will stay united under Israeli sovereignty forever," the National Union MK added.
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat dismissed the political argument altogether. “The fact that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel is not a subject for debate, and its status is not affected by foreign political platforms or elections,” he said.

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