U.S. Summons Oren Over 'Unacceptable' East Jerusalem Evictions

By Barak Ravid (Haaretz)

Published August 04, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Washington issued another diplomatic protest over Israeli conduct in East Jerusalem on Monday, its second in as many weeks.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman summoned Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, to tell him that the United States views Sunday’s eviction of two Palestinian families from homes in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood as a “provocative” and “unacceptable” act that violates Israel’s obligations under the road map peace plan.

Oren responded by saying that the buildings in question have been Jewish-owned since before Israel’s founding, and that a court ordered the families’ evictions because they had violated the terms of their leases.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also denounced the evictions publicly on Monday, terming them “deeply regrettable” during a joint press conference in Washington with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. She said the evictions violated Israel’s commitments under the road map and would impede progress toward peace, adding that the United States would not recognize any unilateral changes to the status quo in Jerusalem.

Two weeks ago, Oren received a similar American protest over a plan to build 20 apartments for Jews in the Shepherd Hotel compound in Sheikh Jarrah. That protest prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to retort that Israel would never accept Jews being denied the right to live anywhere in Jerusalem.

Shortly before Oren was summoned by Feltman on Monday, Israeli Ambassador to Sweden Benny Dagan was summoned to that country’s foreign ministry for a similar rebuke. Swedish officials told Dagan that they did not understand the timing of the evictions, nor do they accept the legal arguments behind the move. Sweden currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency.

Dagan counterattacked, saying that Israel was “extremely frustrated with Sweden’s conduct” as president of the EU. Israel, he said, has taken steps to make life easier for West Bank Palestinians, while the Palestinians have merely entrenched themselves in their hard-line positions, and the EU has done nothing to help.

The Swedes rejected these claims, noting there is “no difference” between Sweden’s positions on the peace process and Washington’s.

Foreign Ministry Director General Rafi Barak responded by summoning the Swedish ambassador for talks, during which he told her that Jerusalem considers Stockholm’s criticisms of Israel, since assuming the EU presidency, to be excessive.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.